Symantec is phasing in a new trust mark to ensure Web users that the sites they are visiting are safe. Symantec has been replacing "VeriSign Trusted" with "Norton Secured, powered by VeriSign."
The old "VeriSign Trusted" mark (right) meant the website uses a VeriSign SSL certificate for authentication and also got a daily malware scan, which VeriSign added as a service associated with the mark in 2010 to boost its security significance. In August of that year, Symantec acquired this VeriSign identity and authentication business for more than $1 billion, and has been sorting out brand issues ever since. One result is the newly created "Norton Secured, powered by VeriSign" trust mark -- Norton, of course, is Symantec's consumer-oriented security brand.
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The new "Norton Secured" mark (left) -- which puts "powered by VeriSign" in smaller red print underneath the Norton name to give VeriSign lower billing like a minor celebrity on a movie marquee sign -- is there to tell the world a few things about the website carrying it.
Norton Secured means the VeriSign certificate is still there -- although we're really not supposed to call them VeriSign certificates now. And the malware scan continues to be done daily for the website displaying it. But Norton Secured also indicates something else -- that the website is getting a vulnerability-assessment scan.
According to Quentin Lui, senior director of engineering, website security solutions, at Symantec, "the frequency is once a day, and if they don't pass the scans, they can't display the 'Norton Secured' seal."
There was considerable hand-wringing over at Symantec about how the transition to the new trust mark branding should go, with countless customer interviews and surveys done to determine what name would fly. The Norton name came out on top as a well-known Symantec security brand name that would hopefully resonate well with both online consumers and the businesses whose websites would carry it.
This week is expected to complete the online transition to "Norton Secured, powered by VeriSign," but Symantec hints there may be more to come in terms of other security services that could be added to the trust mark in the future.
Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security.
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