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Symantec today launched a new hosted security as a service solution for small and medium sized business in the form of its 'Symantec Hosted Endpoint Protection' offering. Delivering a simple and convenient cloud-based service covering Windows-based laptops, desktops and files servers, the solution aims to protect these endpoint systems using advanced technologies for antivirus, antispyware, firewall, and host intrusion prevention all managed from a single online management console.

Symantec Hosted Endpoint Protection features include:

  • Always-on Protection for Endpoints: Automated updates occur transparently over an Internet connection to keep employee systems current and consistent with client policies when employees are in the office or on the road – even when they’re not logged into their corporate VPN.
  • Administrators can access the administration portal over a supported Web-browser and corporate VPN access is not required to monitor and manage each computer. Administrators receive real-time alerts via SMS or email and can easily perform functions such as initiate a LiveUpdate to refresh system protection levels, view history on systems and change local policy settings.
  • Adds and manages new computers without requiring on-site management servers. Updates occur automatically and new features are introduced as they become available during the subscription period for no additional fee.
  • Flexibility provided through a hosted model allows the solution to scale to incorporate new endpoints quickly and efficiently without requiring additional hardware or management software.
  • Can be quickly deployed to users via standard download, an email invitation or silently pushed to the customer’s network.

Leveraging one of the largest security research networks in the world, the Symantec Global Intelligence Network, the new service will benefit from the rapid threat identification and response it provides. This quick reaction time is increasingly important as security threats become ever more complex and the global workforce ever more mobile, yet is often denied to the smaller end of the business market due to the costs of implementing and maintaining a hardware solution. Which is where the hosted, cloud-based model for security comes to the fore. "We can get a much more robust solution delivered through the cloud than we would be able to host for ourselves, and at a much more reasonable cost" David Wassenar, Vice President of IT, at Apprise Software says, adding "we don’t have to put any team member’s time into it, and we don’t have to spend money to provide the hardware redundancy on our end to ensure high availability for the solution".

Rowan Trollope, Senior Vice President with Symantec Hosted Services, puts the popularity of hosted security services down to this "ease of management and deployment" but insists that organisations are equally motivated by "the reduced complexity that cloud-based services can offer". Analysts such as Christian Christiansen, VP of Security Products and Services at IDC, tend to agree. "Customers often experience pain when increased IT resources are required to stay abreast of evolving endpoint threats" Christiansen says , adding "to reduce these difficulties, customers want turn-key endpoint solutions that provide the latest protection levels with easy set up, zero maintenance, and automatic upgrades".

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