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Symantec: Partners can expect unified security strategy

In the wake of the Veritas buyout, Symantec aims to appeal to channel partners with a unified security strategy and stronger cloud focus.

With the recent news of the $8 billion buyout of Veritas to The Carlyle Group and additional investors, Symantec this week outlined, to SearchITChannel, the company's strategic direction and focus over the next 12 to 18 months, and touched on the role Symantec partners will play going forward.

Amit Jasuja, senior vice president of products, enterprise security with Symantec said the new Symantec, as a pure security company, is guided by what's being called, a unified security strategy that includes a strategy element and technology element.

The technology element is to use big data analytics on top of a ton of global telemetry data -- collected from Symantec's massive global threat intelligence network -- to help customers become smarter about security. Symantec calls this it's unified security analytics platform.

The unified security strategy takes the analytics data to make Symantec's security products smarter and more adaptable.

"Think about a risk-based feedback loop that makes these products smarter about threats," Jasuja said.

A stronger cloud focus

Another thing that Symantec partners will notice about the vendor going forward is a stronger focus on cloud and providing better cloud security. According to a company spokeswoman, 81% of Symantec's business flows through channel partners.

Our goal, as we separate from Veritas, is to identify the right partners that have strong security interest and focus on enabling them.
Amit JasujaSenior Vice President of Products, Enterprise Security, Symantec

Jasuja explained that many Symantec customers are moving data into Microsoft Office 365, Box, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, for example, for applications, compute or storage, and are increasingly using mobile devices.

"Users don't necessarily want their mobile devices to connect to a VPN, which may create perform problems," said Jasuja.

So, Symantec is building a cloud security broker, a broker in the cloud, that's able to deal with all the typical threats as well as information protection challenges of enterprise users, he explained.

The cloud security broker is a cloud-based control point that integrates data loss prevention (DLP), identity and analytics.

From a channel standpoint, selling the cloud security broker will be straightforward -- no inventory to carry, no boxes, no complicated selling motions. "There's a multi-tiered, channel-branded website where people could place their orders," Jasuja said. "We activate them and away they go." He added that there's a simple way to configure enterprise traffic to be routed through the cloud brokers, which will be dispersed throughout the globe.

The first cloud security broker products delivered were DLP for Office 365 (email) and DLP for Cloud Storage for Box, announced in June. Expect to see additional cloud-based products that enable endpoint management, data center security and identity management, for example.

There are two additional areas of focus for Symantec going forward: threat protection and cyber security services.

Symantec's threat protection strategy addresses the entire advanced threat protection cycle: prevent, detect, respond and predict. "Our goal is to deliver a solution that's more unified and deals with all of a company's control points, i.e., email, network, gateway, endpoint, cloud," said Jasuja.

Today, Symantec offers Advanced Threat Protection products for the network and for email.

The vendor's cyber security services strategy falls in the managed security services space. According to Jasuja, expect to see the company lead with its cyber security services.

Today, Symantec offers a security monitoring service and an adversary threat intelligence service. Expanded services will include incident response and forensics services and security simulation services for security preparedness and overall health checks.

All products mentioned by Jasuja will be in the market by year-end.

Partner opportunity

The fast growing security market presents good business opportunity growth for partners, according to Symantec.

"Our partners are looking to expand their presence with customers and be able to do more outcome-based work. They want something that is simpler, integrated, creates more synergy, a single point of purchase, a single point of administration, and single point of control," Jasuja said.

On the other hand, customers want to protect their environment holistically, not stitch together discrete security pieces, i.e., malware, endpoint management and patching, and DLP, he added.

On the unified security and analytics side, there's a growing opportunity for Symantec partners to deliver intelligence to their customers. "With intelligence and analytics, partners will be able to deliver better solutions, better services that help customers optimize the tools they have," said Jasuja.

Also, as more companies move data outside the perimeter of their data centers and into the cloud, security becomes an issue. Last year, Forrester Research reported that the market for cloud-based security products was $300 million. The research firm predicted a 40% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the cloud-based security product market reaching $2 billion by 2020 -- another strong opportunity for partners.

"Our goal, as we separate from Veritas, is to identify the right partners that have strong security interest and focus on enabling them, providing them with content, training, or capabilities on how we market and sell together -- you'll see a lot of investment in that space," Jasuja said.

Next Steps

Learn more about Symantec's cloud and mobile strategy

Read about the potential to recruit more Symantec partners in the U.K.

Get cloud data security and compliance advice from Notre Dame's IT director


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