Symantec looking to protect families online

Security vendor to promote safe surfing for children at the Dubai Family Forum.

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By  Mark Sutton Published  October 22, 2008

Symantec is set to raise awareness among families in the UAE of online security issues for children.

The security and storage vendor is participating in the Dubai Family Forum at the end of December, to communicate with parents on issues surrounding children's safety online.

Speaking to itp.net at GITEX, Lee Sharrocks, vice president of consumer business for Symantec EMEA, said: "As we mature as a consumer company we are doing a lot more around things like family online safety.

"It is not just about threats like ID theft, we start to see things like cyber-bullying, and to help with these issues there are behavioral, common sense advice that we have to get out there as a safety net, so we are keen to participate in local safety initiatives," he added.

Symantec plans to release a suite of software early next year, which will enable parents to set parameters for what children can do online, and to help protect them from online threats, without completely locking children out of the web.

The products will also be backed with campaigns to raise awareness of soft issues of online safety.

Sharrocks also discussed the latest versions of Symantec's popular Norton Internet Security and Norton Anti-virus solutions, which have recently been released after a ground-up redesign of the products.

The solutions have been rebuilt to be much faster, and to be less of a drain on resources than previous versions.

The new versions now include Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response heuristic threat detection technology, Norton Insight to help streamline application scanning, Norton Protection System provides multilayered protection and improved protection for passwords and login details.

The solutions also include a new proprietary installer that allows installation of the software in under one minute, and ‘pulse' updates of anti-virus definitions, which send a small number of definition updates every few minutes rather than sending a large batch.

The redesign of the products now made them among the fastest security products on the market, and would also mean less drain on the CPU for scanning. The redesign in part came about as Symantec solutions lost some ground to competitors, Sharrocks said.

"I think there's no doubt that if you look at Norton specifically, leaving the Symantec enterprise products, there is no doubt we did lose some traction, probably around 2006 or so, which is what caused us to rewrite the products from the ground up. That is why we are where we are today. We've had two to three years of the technology being there, but it's been a bit slow, a bit big, and that's why we put so much focus on performance because that was the feedback we had," he explained. I think we are now ahead of the competition."

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