Anti-Virus Options on the Rise

Significant announcements from anti-virus vendors Symantec and Computer Associates will result in a bigger variety of robust options.

The enterprise anti-virus market is on the verge of a major shake-up, as Symantec Corp. and Computer Associates International Inc., two of the industrys largest players, are set to introduce significant new products and perhaps permanently shift the balance of power in the anti-virus industry. The result: a bigger variety of more robust anti-virus options to choose from.

Symantec next week plans to introduce its revamped lineup of SGS (Symantec Gateway Security) 5400-series appliances, integrated boxes that augment their anti-virus capabilities with a host of other features, including intrusion prevention and detection, a firewall, and content filtering. For its part, CA this week will announce the new version of its flagship eTrust Antivirus software, which now includes expanded reporting capabilities and a single console for managing all an enterprises clients, regardless of platform or device.


The new SGS 5400 appliances use a different architecture than most all-in-one security boxes. Instead of sending incoming traffic through each security application sequentially, the SGS boxes security operations are meshed together and integrated to improve speed and performance, officials said.

"There arent multiple stacks and multiple handoffs," said Howard Lev, group product manager for appliances at Symantec, based in Cupertino, Calif. "Its not just three nets thrown together to catch more fish. We redesigned the net."

In addition to the integrated security capabilities, the 5400-series boxes include a Web-based management interface and plug-ins for the Symantec Enterprise Security Architecture to aid in centralized policy configuration and reporting. Symantec has also created flexible licensing for the appliances, to allow customers to purchase the security technologies a la carte.

Discuss this in the eWeek forum.

Next page: CAs eTrust Antivirus Supports Pocket PC.