Security Units Carry Symantec

Security boost comes amid serious challenges from the likes of an aggressive McAfee.

Symantec enjoyed a strong fourth quarter on the back of growth in its security business.

While the security and compliance segment was the third largest part of the company's revenues for the quarter, it also grew the most, jumping 21 percent over the previous year. Symantec's overall revenues for the quarter, which ended for the company March 28, were $1.54 billion. Revenues for the year topped $5.87 billion.

"In the March quarter, the enterprise security business generated record revenue," said Enrique Salem, Symantec's chief operating officer, during the earnings call April 30.

The growth in Symantec's security business follows a year when rival companies challenged Symantec aggressively. McAfee, for example, positioned the 4.0 release of its security policy enforcement product, ePolicy Orchestrator, against Symantec's Endpoint Protection 11.0 product, setting off a PR war of sorts.

Although Symantec CEO John Thompson said shipments of Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 slipped somewhat in the fourth quarter, he said the vendor still moved about 21 million clients. He attributed the decline to the previous quarter being a seasonally strong renewal period.

"SEP is doing quite well in its first two quarters in the market," he said during the earnings call. "The NAC [network access control] component is getting a very, very strong lift in the marketplace, and it's helping us to drive higher unit value, if you will, per endpoint sold. So we're quite pleased with the early receptivity of NAC and would expect that to continue certainly as the product continues to mature in the market."

SAAS and DLPOpportunities Loom

Looking ahead to emerging trends in the security market, Thompson said the company will focus on data loss prevention and expanding its SAAS (software as a service) with new offerings.

"In order to complement our data loss prevention capabilities, Symantec is partnering with GuardianEdge [Technologies] to deliver proven endpoint encryption products to complement our endpoint protection platform," he said. "Going forward, we see excellent opportunities to broaden the distribution of our DLP and encryption products, particularly in international markets, and to integrate with several of our key products, including mail security and archiving. The content awareness capabilities of Vontu's technology will allow our customers to make smarter decisions about archiving and encrypting highly sensitive information."

When it comes to SAAS, the company will look to build out its portfolio with new offerings in areas such as endpoint security, archiving and messaging, Thompson said.