Symantec Beefs Up Security Options for SMBs

After releasing a survey suggesting midmarket companies' security infrastructure is woefully lacking, Symantec moves to offer SMBs a small-business edition of Endpoint Protection.

Security firm Symantec has announced the impending release of Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition, which is targeted at midmarket companies. The software will be available in summer of this year, the company said.
Symantec is touting the software's preconfigured settings, "streamlined" user interface and built-in tools, which Symantec said are tailored for the small-business environment. Installation, the company claims, takes only 20 minutes. The software includes anti-virus, anti-spyware, desktop firewall and intrusion prevention tools in a single package to provide proactive, comprehensive protection against known and unknown threats.
"As the number and sophistication of Web-based viruses and malicious code continues to rise, small businesses need to be secured with more than just traditional anti-virus technology," said Art Gilliland, vice president of Symantec's enterprise security group. "By prioritizing optimal performance and low costs, we are offering small businesses the same level of protection provided to large global businesses with a product that is designed to meet the specific needs of smaller environments."
According to a recent test conducted by The Tolly Group, which compared seven endpoint security solutions for small businesses, Symantec demonstrated the best performance, including fastest boot times and lowest impact on working with local Microsoft Office documents. Endpoint Protection will be licensed using the company's standard per-user/per-server metering, and does not require a license file. A trial version will also be available for download this summer.
Shawn Butt, IT solutions architect at Whippany, N.J.-based Zaphyr Technologies, said most small businesses have limited IT staff, time and financial resources to dedicate toward their security goals. "At the same time, they cannot afford the loss of productivity caused by viruses and malware," he said. "Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition will enable us to provide our small-business customers with a higher level of protection in a package that is easy to deploy and manage."
Earlier this month, Symantec released the results of a survey on security preparedness of small to medium-size businesses (SMBs). The study found that while SMBs are familiar with cyber-risks and have clearly defined goals for security and storage, a surprisingly high number have yet to take even the most basic steps toward protecting their businesses, such as implementing anti-virus software or backing up their data. The study was based on surveys of 1,425 SMBs in 17 countries during the first quarter of 2009.
For example, three of five (59 percent) have not implemented endpoint protection (software that protects "endpoints" such as laptops, desktops and servers against malware). Forty-two percent of SMBs do not have an anti-spam solution. Almost half do not back up their desktop PCs, leaving their important information at risk. Finally, one-third of SMBs do not have the most basic protection of all-anti-virus protection.