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Symantec expands to IoT protection as part of new strategy

Boosting its information protection capabilities, Symantec has expanded its portfolio to include embedded critical systems protection to protect internet of things devices

As Symantec prepares to become a pure information security firm again by spinning off its storage division, it has added protection for the internet of things (IoT) to its product portfolio.

The move is part of a strategy to simplify the task of information security professionals in defending businesses against increasingly sophisticated threats across fixed, mobile and cloud environments.

Symantec is gearing to focus on threat protection, information protection and security analytics with the support of its over-arching cyber security services.

Boosting its information protection capabilities, the company has expanded its portfolio to include embedded critical systems protection to protect IoT devices against zero-day attacks.

Symantec aims to secure a wide range of IoT devices, including smart TVs, cars and smart meters, and has signed up automatic bank teller machine maker Wincor Nixdorf as one of the early adopters.

“As IoT innovation and adoption continues to grow, so has the opportunity for new cyber security risks,” said Shankar Somasundaram, senior director of IoT security at Symantec. “This is the next frontier. In the automotive industry, hackers can literally steer the car and hit the brakes from their keyboards.

“Symantec is partnering with manufacturers in the automotive, industrial control and semiconductor industries, in addition to our work in the healthcare and retail markets.”

As part of its broader unified security strategy, Symantec is investing in and offering the industry’s most comprehensive IoT security technologies, said Somasundaram.

These include authentication, device security, analytics and management to help prevent cars, medical devices, industrial control systems and countless consumer electronics from becoming hacked, tracked and electronically hijacked.

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Symantec plans to help enterprises address IoT security by introducing new technologies, such as an IoT portal for managing all IoT security from a single interface, and security analytics for proactively detecting anomalies that might indicate stealthy attacks on IoT networks.

To further fuel innovation in IoT security, Symantec recently announced a partnership with Frost Data Capital to incubate early-stage startups with funding, resources and expertise.

Frost Data Capital supports the incubator with seasoned entrepreneurs, proven innovation methodology and process, and deep expertise in big data analytics, IoT, industrials and healthcare.

All the products and services underpinning Symantec’s unified security strategy are scheduled for completion by the end of 2016, but most will be done within 12 months, Amit Jasuja, the company's senior vice-president of products and enterprise security, told Computer Weekly in July.

“A good chunk of it will become available in the last three months of 2015, with more coming in the early part of 2016,” he said.

In this new era, said Jasuja, Symantec is not trying to be all things to all people, but instead is focusing on threats and protecting information in the mobile and cloud environments.

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