December 8, 2005 4:29 PM PST

Symantec hopes to deliver antivirus online

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Symantec will slowly move toward supplying its consumer applications--such as Norton Antivirus and Norton Utilities--as a service.

At a roundtable discussion in Sydney on Thursday morning, David Sykes, vice president of Symantec in the Pacific Region, explained that as broadband becomes ubiquitous and consumers get used to purchasing software online instead of in a box, security services--and even PC utilities--could be sold as a service.

According to Sykes, this is already happening in countries such as Korea where Internet service providers are reselling applications on behalf of security companies such as Symantec.

"The ISP licenses our product and delivers the service--they do the scanning, disk fragmenting and other stuff that Norton SystemWorks does--and they deliver that down the pipe," he said.

Sykes also said there was the possibility that tiny pieces of an application or a single virus scan could be resold by organizations such as online banks, which may choose to ensure their customers are not infected with a virus or spyware before they log on to their account.

"The customer goes to an Internet banking site and that site has an end-point appliance that scans (their computer). It may say 'you have Sobig (or another infection)' and up will pop the antivirus vendor's window that says, 'Do you want to fix this problem or buy a solution?'" he said.

This could be paid for by the customer using their credit card or by adding it to their mobile phone bill by sending a text message, said Sykes, who warned that banks could decide not to provide access to anyone with an infected computer.

"If you don't use the service, then you may not be able to log on to the Internet banking site," he added.

Symantec executives have in the past admitted that customers often complain about the size and resources used by its consumer applications such as Norton Antivirus and Norton Internet Security.

Last year, Mark Kennedy, architect, product delivery and response at Symantec, said the company would respond to customer feedback by making its flagship consumer product smaller and faster.

"The footprint of the product and the performance of the product is something that the consumer team is actively working on," Kennedy said at the time.

By delivering security features such as virus scanning online, Sykes believes the footprint of its applications will no longer be an issue. "Once you move to the service situation, then the footprint becomes almost irrelevant," he said.

Munir Kotadia of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.

5 comments

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Does It come with?
Say does it come with anti Sony rootkit security prevention software, to plug all the security holes that SONY prefer open?
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No, but it's...
a fine and dandy ActiveX component. So you need IE with all security settings turned off for it to work.
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Link Flag
oops
Bad Sony... very bad boy! Sony get's my vote for "oops of the year". Who was the knuckle-head that thought this was a good idea?

Message to the music world: Wanna sell more music? Cut the prices in half. Yup, thats right, half. There are always going to be people that try to get over, as in, steeling music. You can never stop that. But, what you can do is target the otherwise well intentioned middle of the road people. If CDs were 6 bucks, and downloadable songs were 50 cents (no, not fidy cent), theyd double sales in no time. After all, if theft stays at a constant, and you double sales, well then, youre winning.
Posted by grajoe (6 comments )
Link Flag
Symantec continues to miss the mark.
Its surprising to me, that with all the resources at Symantecs disposal, it continues to miss the mark. In fact, one could say they fail to even hit the target of late.

Norton Utilities has long been considered a legacy product since the release of Microsoft Windows XP almost 5 years ago. Their Security and Antivirus software continues to rate on the bottom of the list against its competitors as far as effectiveness; not to mention it has a serious case of bloatware. One does not have to be a computer Geek to see all of the legacy software still installed in all of Symantecs products. Old relics of code left behind by lazy, and all too often, over worked programmers.

Also, I believe, now feel free to check me on this one, but youll need to be online in order to use an online service. If youre PC has been infected with even the most minor of Malware, chances are youre not likely to get online, and if you do, it wont be reliable enough to run heavy overhead apps such as scanners through what most probably will be a compromised Internet Explorer.

Its not the delivery vehicle Symantec, its the product! People dont really care if that pizza has free delivery, if its bad pizza. Todays PC users are much younger than they were 10 years ago. And those kids using PCs 10 years ago, are now older, much computer savvy than ever, and certainly much more demanding.

Symantec, very much like IBM, GM, and yes even Microsoft, all have one thing in common: Theyve gotten very wealthy, fat, lazy and old. (Look at the stock value of all of these over the last few years) Not necessarily old in age per say, but in thinking. Theyd rather perpetuate, than innovate. Look at Google; it has almost the businessmans textbook manual for success, the one-two knock-out punch as they say. Its a killer product, with a winning business model. You could call them the Microsoft of the 21st century, very much like MS was 20 years ago. I guess thats inevitable, I mean, not even Microsoft is Microsoft anymore. But it doesnt necessarily have to be. Look at what the iPod has done for Apple. All it takes is the courage to innovate, and a little youth.

Final recommendations: For and all-in-one security suite, look at Trend Micros Internet Security Suite 2006. For a great freebe antivirus, look at AVG. Which, by the way, may not be free for very much longer, as Intel has recently invested 10 million in them.
Posted by grajoe (6 comments )
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Trend Micro's product is bad too
It loads your system up with extra processes and most annoyingly pops up a window over the top of whatever you're doing to inform you that it's "updating" shortly after you boot the computer for the first time each day, it also pops you back to that window again as it finishes updating which makes it a double interruption.

What brain-dead person thinks that's acceptable and how many other brain-dead people had to agree in order for that non-feature to be included?
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
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