Symantec tailors sharper small business security suite

Norton Small Business works on Windows, OS X and Android with limited features for iOS

By , IDG News Service |  Security

Symantec's latest product, Norton Small Business, is perhaps the most well-rounded and ambitious offering the company has inserted into its product array for small companies.

The security company has been working for more than a year to revamp its product line as the company faces an ever-competitive security market.

Symantec has at least four products it says are suited for small businesses such as Norton 360 version 6.0, Norton AntiVirus 2012, Norton Internet Security 2012 and Symantec Protection Suite Small Business Edition. All are priced differently and have some overlapping features.

None of those products are being retired but will instead be joined by Norton Small Business, which has been geared to keep up with trends: mobile device security and protection for Apple desktop computers. It is aimed at companies with fewer than 20 employees that are unlikely to have a full-time IT specialist.

Symantec is also offering an ambitious guarantee to Norton Small Business buyers called "Virus Removal Assurance." It is offering free phone support as part of the guarantee, saying that if its support technicians can't remove the malicious software, customers can get their money back for the product.

Virus and spyware removal support is a feature of other Symantec products, such as the NortonLive Service, but costs $100 per call. The company claims it is able to remove malware in 99.9 percent of the time.

Symantec's guarantee assumes a customer actually knows they're infected and that malware has been found on the computer, an increasingly difficult task for consumer-grade security software suites.

For general antivirus protection, Norton Small Business uses Symantec's Insight and Sonar technologies, which are designed to spot unknown malicious files and programs and and classify them based on their reputation and behavior, a more effective method than relying on signatures.

Since mobile devices are increasingly being used by small businesses, the product has several security and device management features, mostly for Android.

The suite will scan Android applications to see if they're malicious. It also can block calls and text messages from certain numbers and will also scan SD memory cards.

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