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Symantec Enhances SMB Security Suite

For small and midsize businesses, Symantec will offer improved endpoint security, backup capabilities, disaster recovery and messaging security this summer.

Symantec announced that its bolstering its small and midsize business security offering -- dubbed Symantec Protection Suite Advanced Business Edition -- to provide better endpoint security, backup capabilities, disaster recovery and messaging security.

Effective immediately, the vendor has also lowered the price of its Symantec Protection Suite Small Business Edition by 40%. In addition, it plans to offer more hosted email and Web security offerings, all of which are administered via a Web-based management console. Recently, Symantec also launched a cloud-based service, similarly aimed at small and midsize businesses, for securing PCs and servers with antivirus, antispyware, firewall and HIPS, using SaaS.

When it comes to security and disaster preparedness, the typical small or midsize business has room for improvement. According to Symantec’s 2009 SMB Disaster Preparedness study, which surveyed 1,657 companies with less than 500 employees worldwide, only 23% of small and midsize businesses back up daily, and even then, on average only capture 60% of essential information. Half don’t have a disaster recovery plan. Furthermore, many do not use offsite backup facilities, and half of organizations estimated that a fire in their data center would wipe out about 40% of their enterprise data.

But many small businesses lack the IT talent, as well as time and money, required to keep their PCs and servers correctly configured, secured and backed up, said Ray Boggs, IDC’s vice president of small and medium business research.

Against that reality, Symantec is pitching its new Advanced Business Edition suite, expected to hit the market this summer, as a one-stop shop for security, backup and recovery. The company said the suite’s features will include endpoint security protection, gateway-based advanced content filtering to prevent intellectual property theft, as well as backup and recovery for Windows, including virtual environments. The software also contains hooks into Symantec’s security intelligence network, both to provide early warnings of outbreaks, as well as to trigger automatic backups when serious threats emerge.

But for an increasing number of small and midsize organizations, their security future involves SaaS. “We’ve seen a natural migration to SaaS by SMBs -- and at an increasing rate in security -- as a result of [their] being unable to find IT talent with the relevant security knowledge, capable of managing the changing security landscape and also as a result of convergence in the security market,” said Richard Collins, vice president of the Americas for Symantec Hosted Services.

In particular, over the last six months, he said that SMB adoption of Symantec’s SaaS-based email and Web security, archiving and business continuity have all increased by 20 percent. Overall, adoption of Symantec Hosted Services grew by 30 percent from 2009 to 2010, with small and midsize businesses now accounting for 40 percent of the revenue it generates.

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