The company wants to simplify its product lineup which previously consisted of Norton Antivirus, Norton Internet Security and Norton 360. Symantec is positioning its new service as a solution for advanced current-day threats such as individualised phishing scams and man-in-the-middle attacks.
At a pre-launch event in Mumbai, Gerry Egan, Senior Director of Norton Product Management at Symantec specifically highlighted ransomware attacks and cybercriminals who try to steal personal information as more relevant to current day security than just viruses. Browser-based tools provide warnings to users about social engineering scams, potentially compromised websites, and drive-by malware downloads.
Windows 10, 8.1, 7, Vista and XP are supported, as well as the current and previous two versions of Mac OS X. Android 2.3 or higher running the Google Play services and iOS 7 and later can run Norton Security. However, the Microsoft Edge browser and Windows 8 Modern UI apps aren't supported. The software will be available as a digital download only; Symantec will not offer boxed packages at retail.
Norton Security leverages the company's global threat intelligence tools which monitor email messages, websites, and apps including app stores, to proactively identify breaches that might result in customers' personal data being compromised.
Customers of Norton Security will get free 24/7 phone support. Symantec is so confident of its offering that is guaranteeing a 100 percent refund to customers if a breach occurs and one of the company's own engineers fails to remove the threat completely.
Egan was also quick to distance the company's current offerings from those several years ago which were heavily criticised for slowing down PCs. Calling that an industry-wide problem, he characterised the performance impact of the new Norton Security service in terms of lag at boot time as less than one second. The program can run in the background and never really has to run a deep scan of the user's entire hard drive, since all incoming files are cleared at the time of creation. Norton Security can also use checksums to verify the integrity of known good files rather than scanning them entirely to detect changes.
When asked about ensuring security in a world in which users have multiple devices with multiple connectivity fronts and therefore more avenues for digital attacks than ever before, Egan said the company was exploring all avenues, including the possibility of offering VPN services, a private DNS, and embedded solutions for the Internet of Things.