Symantec 101 – a guide for enterprise users

Most of us have heard of Norton security products, but they are just the consumer tip of the Symantec iceberg. Underneath is one of the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive enterprise cyber security companies – but that description does not do justice to its scope.

And even though it was founded back in 1982 the back story is just interesting history best regaled by the Wiki article here.

Because every company needs to reinvent itself regularly and, two things have happened over the past 12 months. First, it de-merged the Veritas business (essentially data recovery and backup) to the Carlyle Group for US$8 billion and second, it acquired the Blue Coat business (essentially network security, incident detection, and analytics) for US$4.65 billion.

What Blue Coat and Symantec have in common is a voracious appetite for acquiring technologies to expand their technology and offerings and a strong will to succeed. Greg Clark, the former CEO of Blue Coat is now the CEO of Symantec and Michael Fey, former COO of Blue Coat is the new COO of Symantec.

Symantec bills itself as the global leader in next-generation cyber security and says its breadth of offerings and capabilities – endpoint, email, servers, and cloud – makes it possible to solve all your most critical security needs. That is a bold statement – how does it stack up?

Its category range covers Threat Protection, Information Protection, Cyber Security Services, and Website Security. Within each of these is a subset of products that work seamlessly.


Threat protection covers detection and blocking of threats for endpoints (desktops, mobile and now IoT devices), servers (bare metal and virtual), email, gateways, and cloud. It is backed by what is the largest global telemetry operation providing intelligence on what is happening.

Information protection is about keeping your data safe but more than that it is about applying a governance/compliance regimen to it so it can only be used when and how you want it to be. It can monitor all data movement, allow or deny its use, encrypt it and ensure authentication is used to access critical data. It also managed digital certificated and trusted identity for web access.

Cyber Security services are just that – using Symantec experts in global threat intelligence, advanced monitoring, incident response, and cyber readiness services to stay ahead of threats and provide actionable insights to your IT support team.

Website security is all about protecting your website and its data/content from hackers but also making it safe for end users via SSL/TLS certificates. In a word, it is about “trust” that your website is secure and your customers are safe.

While Symantec cover the big end of town, it has introduced a range of services for the SMB (small to medium business 1-250 staff) market. This does much of what the enterprise side offers with a focus on using cloud over on-premise to provide services.

Based on a pure numerical rating it offers more than 70 discrete products and then there is the Blue Coat acquisition.

At this time, I cannot say how these will integrate or overlap with, or supersede, Symantec’s offerings. Blue Coat is a network and cloud specialist and also has a substantial incident response, analytics and forensics capability.

I can say that my experience is that larger enterprises use a layered security approach often taking best of breed from several vendors and Blue Coat and Symantec feature heavily in many overall solutions.

I am a guest at the Symantec Partner Engage Event in Tokyo from 1-3 November and will report more on the merger and product roadmap.

First published at ITWIRE –


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