Dave Courbanou

October 5, 2011

3 Min Read
Symantec Teases Cloud Security O3, Tablet DLP for the Future

Symantec is trying to make good on its almost year-old vision outlined by CEO Enrique Salem at Symantec Partner Engage in November 2010. It’s a vision of cloud-connected devices, securely managed, all wrapped up in a mobile identity. Now, Symantec is bringing protection to your cloud and tablet devices, with Symantec O3 (a.k.a., “Ozone”) and Symantec Data Loss Prevention for Tablets. I spoke to Dave Elliott, senior product marketing manager of global cloud marketing, and Tim Matthews, director of product marketing management, about the news …

The road to the cloud may seem nebulous and complicated, but Symantec wants to change that. Symantec O3 provides security for cloud applications and their underlying infrastructures. As SaaS use expands, so too, must its protection. Symantec O3 “will help to fill that void,” Elliott said, existing as a “consistent identity and information” layer across whatever SaaS service a user is connected to. It does this by creating a cloud-sandwich layer between the endpoint and the service, which is uniquely tied to a user authentication module, itself a part of the Symantec O3 gateway. This way, anytime users go out to the cloud, the identity they use to leverage the SaaS service is authenticated and given a good coat of DLP and PGP encryption to ensure communication is secure and no confidential information is leaked out. Symantec believes this will help enterprises migrate to the cloud with fewer reservations.

That DLP real-time filter is also available on Symantec’s new DLP for tablets (iPad only for now, and Android coming next year), which is uniquely tuned to ensure data loss prevention is extended deep into all web traffic, including social networking sites. Essentially, all web traffic is funneled through a VPN and subsequently into Symantec’s tablet DLP server. That happens regardless of whether the user is on Wi-Fi or using a 3G connection. Symantec calls it “content-aware protection,” and it integrates with any existing Symantec DLP settings a customer may already have in place.

Matthews noted that far too often tablets are productive but they’re also “a chink in the armor” of a company. But since “iPads are brought into the company, unofficially or rolled out in pilot programs,” channel partners have a real opportunity to be “strategic” and use “DLP to get into an account, get an early win, and do it right.” He also said Symantec’s DLP for tablets should easily impress, since it can provide DLP for cloud applications such as DropBox. “[Symantec DLP for tablets] will crack open the file, and see if it’s safe to put on DropBox.”

“Security in the cloud is a goal and a concern,” Elliott added, noting “IT staff is not completely ready for the cloud,” based on the results of Symantec’s recent cloud preparedness survey. That translates to channel opportunities, because according to Elliott, IT departments either lack the skills to start implementing cloud resources, or can’t fully implement what they need. “Where there’s complexity, there’s margin,” he said, especially when there’s a skills gap in a company.

The only snag? Symantec O3 is “soliciting participants for early access,” but isn’t quite yet open to partners for reselling. “We want feedback from channel partners,” Elliot said, but for now, Symantec will be going direct.

Symantec O3 will be generally available in 2012, while the DLP for Tablets is promised for an early 2012 release.

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