Symantec taps VeriSign, Accenture for security boost

Company announces partnership with VeriSign to support authentication program; Accenture for 1000-staff strong security infrastructure

Symantec is teaming with VeriSign and Accenture as part of its Security 2.0 strategy for protecting consumers and enterprise users from the latest and greatest security threats, which the company says are increasing in complexity and scope.

At a New York event on Tuesday, Symantec announced a partnership with VeriSign to support VeriSign's Identity Protection (VIP) Authentication Service, which protects users online by issuing them a password that can be used across multiple Web sites.

Symantec plans to embed VIP into a future version of Norton Confidential product, which is aimed at making online users more secure by thwarting phishing and other online attacks designed to steal personal information from users.

"When consumers are confident, they feel safe going online -- they know their identities are protected," said John Thompson, Symantec chairman and chief executive officer at Tuesday's event. He said teaming with VeriSign gives Symantec an "infrastructure that allows us to extend" its online protection to more users.

With Accenture, Symantec has established Accenture and Symantec Security Transformation Services, an organization to which Symantec will dedicate 1,000 security professionals to build and implement data security infrastructure and services for business customers, Thompson said.

The organization will focus on compliance, overall security operations management and building more secure applications, he said.

Thompson made a distinction between security threats such as viruses and worms that he said have all but been eradicated, and new threats that are designed to steal information and data for financial profit. Under its Security 2.0 plan, Symantec will focus on phishing, identity theft and internal threats such as those that steal information and data, and noncompliance with internal policies and external regulations.

"Criminal elements are going after what is truly valuable in this day and age -- information," Thompson said. He said that nearly 60 percent of all organizations expect more than one major security incident each year, according to Symantec's research. "Think about the impact these breaches could have -- damage to reputation, loss of revenue and loss of customer, partner and even shareholder trust," he said.

Protecting users who come into an organization's networks from the Internet is especially important, Thompson said, and will be a major focus of Symantec's Security 2.0 strategy.

In addition to the partnerships with VeriSign and Accenture, Symantec also unveiled both consumer and enterprise products to support this next-generation security strategy.

For consumers, Symantec unveiled Norton Confidential Online Edition, an online transaction security product that helps banks and other organizations extend phishing, pharming and crimeware protections to customers that use their sites. The product is delivered electronically to the end user and authenticates a bank or financial institution's Web site at every log-in so customers will be sure they are at a legitimate site.

For enterprises, Symantec on Tuesday unveiled Symantec Database Security and Symantec Mail Security 8300 Series.

Symantec Database Security protects relational databases from access by those who should not have access, said Jeremy Burton, group president of enterprise security and data management at Symantec. It also stops people who do have legitimate access to a relational database from taking confidential information out of the database.

Symantec Mail Security is an e-mail protection appliance that does outbound filtering of e-mail to protect organizations from spam and phishing attacks, Burton said. It also can help prevent confidential information from leaving an organization.

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