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Symantec's 'Hamlet' becomes 'Endpoint Protection'

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Vision 2007 Symantec is cracking open the lid today on a gumbo of acquired security technologies which will replace its current business security software, Symantec AntiVirus.

Endpoint Protection 11.0, formally code-named Hamlet, has entered public beta for users curious to get a whiff of Symantec's latest concoction, expected to be ready for public consumption in September.

The software bundles antivirus, antispyware, firewall, network and host intrusion prevention systems, application and device control, and rootkit detection into a single agent. The technology behind Endpoint Protection is a conglomeration of Symantec corporate purchases, such as Sygate, Veritas and Whole Security.

"Today's anti-virus software isn't enough for the current landscape," director of the Endpoint Security group, George Myers said.

Symantec aims to clobber the modern digital bogeyman with an application suite that isn't solely focused on devices, but rather how applications behave and interact.

Endpoint Protection 11.0 introduces a "proactive" threat detection to stave off zero-day threats by scanning the behavior of programs. Proactive Threat Scan detects and blocks programs without a signature. Symantec has also added device control which allows users to block access to memory keys, USB devices and back-up drives to prevent data theft.

The suite also incorporates Generic Exploit Blocking, which has the ability to, er, block new exploits on a networking level. This allows users to plug up vulnerabilities on a network using a single signature. Symantec's firewall protection now dynamically adjusts port settings to block threats from spreading, and inspects regular and encrypted network traffic.

While increasing what goes on behind the curtain, Symantec, of course, said the suite is relatively easy on resources. Myers claims the idle memory footprint of Endpoint Protection 11.0 is at about 21MB. The program can also scale resources eaten by a scan based on the activity of the system.

Symantec isn't ready to talk pricing, but said the cost will be in line with its current antivirus offering. The actual figure will be ready when EndPoint Protection 11.0 gets closer to release. ®

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