April 18, 2005 12:01 PM PDT

Symantec debuts integrated anti-spyware tools

Symantec took the wraps off its consumer spyware offering on Monday, releasing a test version of tools it will soon add to its Internet security package.

The company posted on its Web site a free download of the beta version of the spyware-blocking applications, which it will make available until roughly June 1. At that time, the product will arrive as part of Symantec's Norton Internet Security AntiSpyware Edition, a midyear update of its annual computer defense applications set.

One of the primary reasons the company is letting the public try out the anti-spyware technology is to encourage people to test the software against the many free tools available to fight the problem. Spyware is a brand of malicious program that secretly loads itself onto an individual's computer to track Internet use or steal valuable personal information.

A host of other companies, including Microsoft, offer cost-free anti-spyware applications to consumers, and Symantec is determined to prove that its products are worth spending money on. Symantec's anti-spyware version of its Norton Internet Security 2005 product line will retail for $79.95, or $10 more than its existing applications package.

Kraig Lane, a Symantec group product manager, said integration with the other security tools, Norton Internet Security, along with the ability to stop spyware at the firewall, will convince customers to continue to open their wallets.

"We could have made this a standalone product, but people tend to need two or three kinds of software to cover everything they need to secure their computers," Lane said. "Customers are telling us that they are tired of needing to remember to run scans, and they know that some programs still get through the independent spyware filters."

Lane said Symantec's spyware-fighting technology works by scanning for any programs that bounce data back to their senders as they are sent through its firewall software. By predetermining most attacks, the software can better defend users than programs that search for threats after they have been loaded onto a device, he said.

"By adding anti-spyware into the integrated package, and effectively blocking any spyware at the firewall, we can solve several problems at once," Lane said. "Consumers want something that can protect them from as many threats as possible at once. Spyware is just something else that we feel we can effectively keep out."

Symantec STILL doesn't get it
Symantec still just does not get that it is finished in the consumer arena when it comes to anything but AV. With the arrival of SP2, I promptly removed Norton Internet Security from all of my customer's systems. I switched them to a standalone AV solution (in many cases, NAV). Now, with Microsoft's AntiSpyware app, which will remain free, there is no need for consumers to shell out $80 for this crap! Wake up Symantec. Focus on corporate solutions where you belong.
Posted by thenet411 (415 comments )
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Disagree with you on that...
I work for an organization that sells a LOT of every major security product AND services many hundreds of systems from many different areas of use. It's been proven time and again that Symantec firewall and other solutions are superior to the basic free items Microsoft builds in. At the current time, SpySweeper is of course the best, but if Symantec pulls this off, I have no doubt they will continue to dominate.
Posted by SiliconAlchemy (3 comments )
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I Agree
Plus the fact that their Internet security suite chews up a lot of resources when its running. At home I dumped it and went with free programming. I have not had any infections of spyware or viruses. I use Zone Alarm, AVG and Microsoft Anti-Spyware.

I also dumped Outlook for Thunderbird and IE for Firefox. I do use IE in select situations, but I have extensions in Firefox that more than make up for IE during normal browsing.

It all only cost me some learning time. Anybody that wants to be on the Internet should know about securing their PC. It's a dangerous world.
Posted by Wildcat0695 (22 comments )
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