Race Between Security Software Giants Tightens - Page 2

By Chris Gonsalves  |  Posted 2005-02-21 Print this article Print

While acknowledging difficulties in impressing financial analysts with its merger, Symantec and Veritas officials continue to maintain that customers "get it" as they talk up combined security and backup offerings in development. "Theres no question [users] want less complexity, less cost in implementation [and] a better way to determine to what extent they are in compliance with evolving regulations or even internal policies," said Thompson. "The fastest growing part of our business right now is the integrated security gateway."

Thompson said that in addition to integrated tools, services will be a key part of his companys business. "When you put these two companies together, all of a sudden you have practice-based consulting that can focus on security and availability management, backup and recovery capabilities," he said.

The first product priority for the new Symantec after the merger will be the creation of what Thompson refers to as "mail hygiene solutions" for the enterprise. He envisions combining Symantecs existing anti-spam, anti-virus and content filtering solutions with Veritas backup and archiving solutions. The resulting offering will be able to identify and block all manner of unwanted e-mail traffic while enabling administrators to securely store and retrieve valuable messages.

Thompson emphasized that Symantecs enterprise customers have made clear to him that they are looking for solutions that will help them cut through the clutter and reduce the complexity they face in their jobs on a daily basis.

Many Symantec customers said they see the value of the merger and the opportunity the company will have to offer integrated security across the enterprise. However, not all of them are sold on the prospect of buying everything from a single provider.

"Symantec in some areas scares me. Their responsiveness in getting out new virus signatures has been dropping, and thats not a good sign," said Bart Lansing, manager of desktop services at Kohls Corp., in Menomonee Falls, Wis. "Im going to replace a lot of seats of Norton pretty soon because of that. I am not sure I want to be buying really high-end security solutions there."

As many RSA Conference goers heard, the debate over security methods is hardly academic. Woven into considerations about security tools and services is the growing sense that software vendors and enterprise network owners could soon find themselves being held liable by users whose networks are damaged by security breaches such as the damaging Code Red and Nimda worms.

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.


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