Symantec to leverage Intel's new virtual environment for security

Symantec Corp. of Cupertino, Calif., on Monday announced that it is building a virtual security solution that will use Intel Corp.'s new vPro technology to provide a layer of security outside of the desktop operating system.

'Moving a lot of the security functions into this virtual platform enables a simplification of security for the clients,' said Enrique Salem, Symantec vice president of consumer products and solutions.

The vPro is a desktop platform for enterprise clients that will enable a virtualized management environment. The Active Management Technology will provide hardware-based policy enforcement and remote management of systems. It is expected to be released in the second half of the year. Salem said Symantec's virtual security solution would be available shortly afterward.

'Our goal is that it will come loaded on vPro technology when it ships,' he said.

The solution will be able to analyze and filter all traffic coming to the desktop through the network connection, protecting against malware before it gets to the operating system. It is expected to be easier to deploy and manage, and cannot be tampered with by users or by malicious code.

'By isolating the computer's protection in a virtual environment outside the main operating system, enterprises will have confidence that security itself has not been compromised and that they can trust the result that it gives,' said Jeremy Burton, senior vice president of enterprise security and data management. 'We believe this new approach will improve security and reduce the overall cost of administration.'

Despite its anticipated advantages, it is being sold as an extra layer of security and not as a replacement for current desktop security measures.

'There will always be a set of problems tied to the applications you are running' that will not be addressed by the virtual solution, Salem said.

Salem said the new solution would be an enterprise tool, focused on the business environment rather than the home user. He said Symantec has been working closely with Intel, developing a security component for vPro, because it wanted to get in on the ground floor of what it sees as a new paradigm for management client equipment.

'It will become ubiquitous,' Salem said. 'It will be the de facto standard.'

No price has been set for the system.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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