With its rivals in the security market getting stronger, Symantec went looking for help. The No. 1 security software company will jointly develop and sell security-related hardware with network-equipment maker Juniper Networks. The move gives Symantec a strong ally in the emerging network-access control market that Cisco Systems and Microsoft want to dominate.
Symantec and Juniper will develop unified threat management appliances, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and access management and endpoint-compliance devices that control network access. Symantec considers such hardware a must, but "that is, candidly, not a ... forte of Symantec," says president and CEO John Thompson. Now, Juniper will supply the hardware, Symantec the security software.
The connection comes about a week after Cisco and Microsoft detailed how their Network Admission Control and Network Access Protection technologies will work together to test a device's security settings before allowing network access.
Cisco and Microsoft are formidable, but their NAC-NAP combo requires companies to use Windows Vista and Longhorn, which aren't yet available. So Symantec and Juniper have an opportunity to see near-term gains from their new friendship.