Sygate Personal Firewall Killed

By Paul F. Roberts  |  Posted 2005-12-05 Print this article Print

Symantec shelves security products.

Symantec Corp. will discontinue sales and support for customers who bought personal security products from Sygate Inc., which Symantec purchased in October.

Symantec shelved Sygates Personal Firewall and Personal Firewall Pro products last week. The announcement is the first indication that the Cupertino, Calif., company intends to cancel some Sygate products and move customers to its own platform, and it surprised some Sygate customers, who accused Symantec of wanting to kill off competing security technology.

Sygate Personal Firewall Pro customers will receive special upgrade pricing to move to Symantecs Norton family of security products. However, Sygates enterprise software is not affected by the announcement, Symantec officials said.

Symantecs statement follows misleading notices on its Web site that suggested the company might be dropping sales and support of Sygates entire product line.

Symantec purchased Sygate for an undisclosed sum to acquire endpoint security and compliance products, such as Sygate On-Demand and Sygate NAC (Network Access Control).

Symantec officials have stated publicly that the company plans to use Sygates Universal NAC System technology to enforce business policies and automate security practice within enterprises, which will help with network security and regulatory compliance. The company also said it plans to integrate Sygates NAC agent with Symantecs LiveUpdate and LiveState Patch Manager services.

In an interview with eWEEK in August, Sygate President and CEO John DeSantis said that, for the time being, Symantec would sell all of Sygates software as "stand-alone products" following the consummation of the deal. Symantec would begin integrating Sygates technology into the Symantec product portfolio in the first half of next year, DeSantis said.

However, information posted on the Symantec Web site and noticed by some Sygate customers suggested otherwise. A notice labeled Service & Support said that "all Sygate products and forum support will be discontinued" on Nov. 30.

That message riled some Sygate customers and prompted broadside attacks on Symantec in one online customer forum.

"Symantec, youre not going to gain any customers from this crime you have perpetrated against us. You have taken away a product many of us wanted to continue using and havent offered a replacement," read one submission to a Sygate support forum by an individual who used the online handle "Colonel Kenobi."

However, the Web site message was a mistake, said Symantec spokesperson Genevieve Haldeman.

Symantec is working to update the notice to specify that only the Personal Firewall and Personal Firewall Pro products are being discontinued, officials said.

Symantec plans to continue to support and develop the Sygate enterprise products, including Sygate Enterprise Protection, On-Demand, NAC and Sygate Embedded, officials said.

Symantec officials did not provide details on what the company would do with the Personal Firewall technology it acquired. However, a Symantec executive told eWEEK in October that Symantec plans to replace its enterprise firewall with Sygates technology.


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