Symantec has unveiled a major new release of its flagship Endpoint Protection product, designed to offer improved performance along with protection for virtual environments and cloud-based defence to block threats before they reach the network.
Symantec Endpoint Protection 12 is powered by the firm's Insight cloud-based reputation technology for the first time, helping to protect PCs by identifying and blocking malware threats according to an intelligence database of over 2.5 billion unique software files.
The company's Sonar 3 hybrid behavioural reputation engine, meanwhile, is able to block zero-day threats by analysing how a piece of code behaves, rather than by traditional signature file analysis.
Performance is another key element of the latest release, and the cloud-based system allows Symantec to reduce overheads by 70 per cent, according to Mike Jones, Symantec senior European product marketing manager.
"The traditional overhead of virus scanning is based on the fact that they need to start at 'A' and go through to 'Z'," he explained.
"Insight and Sonar allow us to limit the scans to do fewer, faster and smarter scans. For example, we'll only do them when the PC is idle."
Endpoint Protection is also optimised for use in virtual environments, ensuring that virtual hosts are not all scanned at once, for example.
Symantec has added a Small Business Edition of the offering to include an easy-to-use installation wizard, pre-configured policy settings and automated notifications and reports, which will be particularly helpful for firms with fewer IT resources.
Jones said that Symantec had taken the unusual step of releasing Endpoint Protection 12 as an invitation-only beta to begin with, and will release a public beta in April and a full release before the year is out.
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