Security software maker Symantec introduced the latest versions of its anti-virus and anti-spyware applications, offering more powerful malware detection capabilities and improved network reporting tools for monitoring against potential attacks.
The company said it is immediately shipping its Symantec Client Security 3.1 and Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition 10.1 updates and speculated that such tools remain increasingly important for use by enterprise companies as some 80 percent of the 50 malicious code samples cited in its latest research carried the potential to expose sensitive corporate or customer data.
The anti-virus package claims an improved ability to launch defenses against newly discovered IT threats using Symantecs LiveUpdate technology, which promises to forward warnings and security patches to customers in near real time to allow them to respond to rapidly emerging attacks.
The spyware package also offers more frequently updated detection and removal tools driven to the applications via Symantecs downloadable anti-spyware engine.
Both packages feature new capabilities for reporting potential network intrusions, and boast improved monitoring functions for measuring attacks.
The threat information tools include risk reports that track the behavior of commonly attacked infrastructure, scan reports which offer specific network defense statistics, and status reports that highlight the version, definition and status of a companys servers and workstations in order to keep security patches and settings up to date.
Using the reporting tools, Symantec said that users of its software can now more easily automate e-mail alerts for virus outbreaks. Those alerts include a hyperlink for gaining access to more detailed event reports and can be used to forward troubleshooting advice to IT workers.
As most security experts agree, Symantec officials said that the growing sophistication and professionalism of malware code writers is forcing customers and applications vendors to work even harder to defend against new viruses.
"Attackers used to be motivated by fame and notoriety, but todays attackers are more covert, forcing organizations to deal with the added challenge of detecting stealthy attacks designed to quietly steal critical information," Brian Foster, senior director of product management for Symantec Endpoint Security, said in a statement.
"Enhanced detection capabilities and reporting tools are vital in this changing threat landscape, helping organizations better understand and isolate malicious code and spyware activities to help prevent a potential security breach."
As part of the anti-virus updates, Symantec has integrated technology gathered via its 2005 acquisitions of Sygate and WholeSecurity.
For instance, WholeSecuritys behavior-blocking engine is being used in Symantecs anti-virus engine to can scan applications and rate their overall vulnerability level.