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Endpoint Security Blog
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Spencer Parkinson | 19 Apr 2011 | 0 comments

More than ever before, smartphones are keeping us connected both personally and professionally. Because most of us have a preference as to the ideal smartphone, IT departments are increasingly being tasked with managing a mix of business-liable and employee-liable devices. This trend has become known as the consumerization of IT.

Symantec has developed a short survey to get smartphone end users’ perspectives on this trend. We’d also like to learn more about how your employer is managing the growing use of smartphones, especially those being purchased and brought into the organization by employees. The quick five minute survey can be found here: http://bit.ly/gsdgmX.

Once you’ve taken the survey, please stay tuned to this blog as we’ll be sharing the results once the survey is complete.

Deirdre Sena | 05 Apr 2011 | 1 comment

Profit is Personal

This is the third Symantec Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) I’ve had the privilege of launching and I’m always impressed by the depth of information and analysis the researchers and analysts are able to uncover in one report -- especially when the report is in addition to their primary responsibilities.  But, cybercriminals and malware authors do not seem to take vacations.

 

And neither do our researchers.

 

Known as one of the most comprehensive sources of Internet threat data in the world, the ISTR is both a bear and a treasure chest all at once.  The sheer enormity of numbers, data and content make this report quite a challenge to pull together, yet the reality it exposes about the threat landscape is filled with such incredible insight and deep understanding of such a wicked Web-based world.

 

Today’s report reveals many significant changes to...

dschrader | 15 Feb 2011 | 11 comments

 

 

Symantec today announced the next version of Symantec Endpoint Protection.  This release, version 12.1, will ship later this year.  You can sign up for the beta at http://go.symantec.com/sep12beta/ .

Long in coming, this release is a major milestone.  On the face of it, that statement is odd; after all, SEP is mature product and its feature set hasn't at a fundamental level, changed.  It is still offers the critical elements of endpoint security, - malware protection, access control, device control, application control, firewall and IPS. It “kinda, sorta” looks like nothing has changed.

Well, don't believe it. There are countless new features in this release, and in subsequent blog posts I will dive into them.  The real change, however, is under the covers and in the test results.  SEP 12 is built on a powerful new stack of security...

dschrader | 03 Feb 2011 | 5 comments

 

In one of Alan Shimmel's recent posts to his excellent The Ashimmy Blog, "Do you really need desktop AV anymore?" he states that surfing in safe neighborhoods and practicing safe computing (or safe-hex, as one of his readers posted in the comments section) can provide adequate protection. He is wrong. There are no safe neighborhoods on the internet.  Millions of legitimate web pages are hijacked every year and used to distribute malware. In the past we have seen newspapers, government sites, even the FBI’s home page hijacked – sometimes the networks serving ads to those and thousand of other legitimate sites have been taken over. Worse, malware or links to infected sites are often distributed through sources of trust...

dschrader | 28 Dec 2010 | 0 comments

Gartner just released their annual report on endpoint security (see: Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms, Gartner, 2010)

As you can read in the report, Symantec extended its lead both in terms of vision and ability to execute.  What is really notable, however, is the strong statement Gartner made about the future of endpoint security.  The reports starts with an indictment, "Malware effectiveness continues to accelerate, while vendors are busy polishing increasingly ineffective solutions and doing little to fundamentally reduce the attack surface and protect users."

Gartner goes on to state, "Signature-based malware detection has been limping along on life support for...

dschrader | 16 Dec 2010 | 10 comments

Today Microsoft introduced Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010.  4 years after Symantec they finally introduced Integration with Configuration Manager, Vulnerability Shielding and Firewall Management – the equivalents of which have all been in Symantec Endpoint Protection for the past 4 years.   

The new version of Forefront still lacks functions we consider essential to endpoint security, including:

  • Device control
  • Application inventory or application control (outside of AppLocker)
  • Access control self enforcement
  • Mac & Linux support – only a promise that sometime next year “details on the timing of the Mac/Linux release will be available”
  • Optimizations for virtual environments - no resource leveling – no way to prevent av storms in virtual environments
  • Bootable recovery disk or a tool equivalent to Symantec’s Power Erasure

A few additional thoughts:...

Hear4U | 09 Dec 2010 | 0 comments

The holiday season is upon us and, as usual, many people are planning on taking time off from work. But with the proliferation of mobile devices such as smartphones, “time off” doesn’t exactly mean what it used to. Symantec recently conducted a survey to uncover enterprise mobile device users’ expected smartphone habits and usage patterns – particularly those that relate to mobile security and management – while out of the office over the holiday season and in general. Here is a look at the key findings:

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The interesting thing about this finding is that 62 percent of respondents do not simply plan to access confidential data on their smartphones, but expect they will need to access this sensitive data while away from the office during the holiday season. Sure, respondents might access and view this data in the privacy of their home, but in all likelihood, many will do so in public, possibly while standing in a...

Blake M | 17 Nov 2010 | 0 comments

With all of the options in the marketplace today, small businesses must secure customer trust and loyalty to remain competitive. Regardless of the industry, their customers are looking for the best quality, value and service and they will quickly move on if their needs are not met. They also want to know that their personal information, like their credit card numbers and bank account information, is protected when they deal with a small business.

Today, so much of our valuable information resides on computers. It’s how we work. So it is expected that small businesses would be concerned about keeping their customers’ personal and financial information safe. In fact, according to the recent Symantec 2010 SMB Information Protection survey, almost three-quarters of SMBs are somewhat/extremely concerned about the loss of crucial business information. This does not come as a surprise when you consider that 42 percent have actually lost confidential or proprietary...

dschrader | 01 Nov 2010 | 0 comments

Garrett Bechler, a Security Solutions Architect at Symantec has put together a valuable list of tips to reduce the impact of SEP in VDI infrastructures.  With his permission, I thought I would post them here.  These are approaches that have been used in some larger (15-20K node) VDI instances to help ensure that SEP has minimal impact.

1)      Upgrade VDI devices (And SEPM) to latest build of SEP in order to take advantage of the new Resource Leveling settings introduced in SEP 11 06, including Scan Randomization and Content Randomization.

2)      Use the content randomizer in the client communication settings to randomize definition and signature delivery. Based on client density we have found the following to be a pretty decent guideline based on a 1 hour client pull based heartbeat:

a.      25-30 VDI instances per host – 2 hour randomization

b.  ...

Art G | 26 Oct 2010 | 1 comment

Marketers love to boast about the performance of their products.  However, it is not always clear what is meant by “performance”.  Are we talking scan speed?  Memory use?  CPU utilization?  Impact on boot up times?  Impact on opening files? . . . .  
 
It turns out there is no one definition of performance.  The impact on the user’s experience due to any piece of software will vary based on the user’s systems, what they are running or doing, time of day, phases of the moon – you get the idea, lots of variables.
 
Symantec has been grappling with how to measure performance for quite a while.  Historically, our development team pegged a few key metrics (scan speed, memory, …) and thought they had a handle on the performance issue.  Some of our users seemed to have a different experience.  So we went out and found experts on performance testing –...