Symantec has taken a step toward integrating its security software with storage technology it acquired from Veritas, announcing its E-Mail Security and Availability Solution on Tuesday.
The new program ties anti-virus and anti-spam hardware and services from Symantec Corp. to Veritas archiving and data backup technology.
Symantec said it hopes the new program will appeal to companies worried about the dual problems of e-mail-borne attacks and the data-retention requirements of new accounting regulations, according to Nick Mehta, senior director of product management at Symantec.
But Mehta acknowledged that the Security and Availability Solution is mostly a conceptual grouping of technology. Customers looking for true integration between Symantec and Veritas products may have to wait for months, or longer, he said.
The program comes as companies are facing increasing pressure to deflect tidal waves of spam and phishing e-mails and filter out viruses from e-mail traffic, while complying with regulations like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that require organizations to retain e-mail and other internal communications for set periods of time and have a consistent policy for deleting such communications, Mehta said.
“You need to keep e-mail up and running, protected from viruses and spam, but also have a policy for where to store it and how long to store it,” Mehta said.
The E-Mail Security and Availability Solution combines Symantec products like the Mail Security 8160 and 8200 Series appliances and Symantec Mail Security for Microsoft Exchange and Domino with Veritas products like NetBackup, Backup Exec and Cluster Server.
As part of the program, Symantec has tested the products together and verified that they are compatible. The company will also publish white papers on how the different products in the companys portfolio fit together and can be used for end-to-end e-mail security and compliance.
Beyond those advantages, however, the value of the new program is difficult to gauge.
Symantec is still a year away from introducing a management dashboard that would give customers a way to control both Veritas and Symantec products on a network.
The company also hasnt decided on pricing incentives for the program. Customers must still purchase and deploy the products in the E-Mail Security and Availability Solution individually, Mehta said.
“This is the beginning of the journey,” said Stephanie Balaouras, a senior analyst at Yankee Group Research Inc., of the new program. The program highlights the notion that storage and security will be linked in the future, as companies look to integrate front-end protections like anti-virus and anti-spam with data management and protection that has been the purview of companies like Veritas and EMC Corp., she said.
For example, companies might want to be able to apply anti-virus scans before retrieving archived e-mail and data, Balaouras said.
At Direct Media Inc., a mailing list management and brokerage company in Greenwich, Conn., the E-Mail Security and Availability program just gives a name to a system that Direct Media has been running for years. The 250-person company uses Symantec Antivirus and Mail Security for Microsoft Exchange and Veritas Enterprise Vault and Backup Exec software, said Kevin Ladd, director of infrastructure at Direct Media.
Symantec is currently the only company with all the technology to create a front-end to back-end messaging security solution.
However, the Cupertino, Calif., company will face competition in the future from a range of players, including Microsoft Corp., which is readying Data Protection Manager, a disk-based backup tool, for release.
Microsoft has also been boosting its security holdings in recent months. The Redmond, Wash., company completed the acquisition of anti-virus vendor Sybari Software Inc. in June and announced plans to acquire secure e-mail provider FrontBridge Technologies Inc. in July.