28 October 2016

Norton by Symantec launches new version of Norton Security

Source: Symantec. Norton Security Premium box shot.
Source: Symantec. Norton Security Premium box shot.
Norton by Symantec has launched its new Norton Security software in Singapore, boosting its protection and performance levels for consumers. Norton Security provides security protection in one subscription service across multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.

According to Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat Report, Symantec discovered more than 430 million new unique malware in 2015, up 36% from the year before. In August 2016 alone, there were 45 million new malware variants, the highest level seen since August 2015. Furthermore, the Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report revealed that 1,008,000 people in Singapore fell victim to online crime in 2015.

“Norton by Symantec engineers are on the front lines of cybersecurity, building technologies that are constantly analysing new threats and devising new ways to protect consumers and their devices,” said Nick Savvides, Security Advocate, Norton. “With the growing frequency of cyberattacks on all platforms, consumers need the comprehensive multiplatform protection offered by Norton Security.”
Norton Security uses multilayered technology to help protect devices, privacy and personal files such as music and financial information from emerging threats, including ransomware, malicious websites, zero days and phishing attacks.

New features in Norton Security include:

Proactive exploit prevention
Zero-day vulnerabilities (which were up 125% in 2015), are gaps in software which can allow hackers through that were unknown to the software vendor. Norton Security’s Proactive Exploit Prevention technology recognises a range of malicious behaviours that are trademarks of zero-day attacks. One of the benefits of this approach is that users are then protected against a wide variety of exploit attacks before a software patch becomes available – a process that can take weeks or months.

Emulation technology
Cybercriminals can hide malicious code in innocuous-looking files. Such practices can evade traditional antivirus techniques, and Symantec says 83% of all malware currently employing antivirus evasion of one form or another. Norton Security’s newly-developed emulation technology unpacks and runs files in a virtual machine - a process called sandboxing - for examination to unearth malware before it can compromise the user’s machine.

Predictive machine learning engine
Antivirus solutions traditionally rely on signatures of known malware to protect consumers. Criminals have since invented ways to evade the signatures. The Predictive Machine Learning Engine anticipates new and evolving malware variants and helps accurately detect and blocks both new and unknown malware.

Faster Mac protection
Mac users will see faster scans and lower overall memory utilisation on their devices.

My Norton
This web portal allows customers to access Norton subscription features, manage their account and devices and learn about new threats from any device. It offers more engagement with customers with smarter alerts and messaging.

Mobile protection
Norton Mobile Security, available with a Norton Security subscription and through the Google Play and Apple App stores, offers:

· Anti-theft and contacts backup to help users recover lost or stolen devices and restore lost information.

· App Advisor for Google Play automatically scans apps on Google Play before they are downloaded and provides proactive and relevant information to users on security, privacy, intrusive behaviours and unusually high battery or data consumption.

· Enhanced Android protection: There were more than three times as many Android apps classified as containing malware in 2015 than in 2014, an increase of 230%. Norton Security uses anti-malware protection, call and SMS blocking to protect Android devices.

Symantec also said that Norton WiFi Privacy, a separate mobile app launched in July, is beginning to see traction in the Asia Pacific region, especially in Japan. The by-subscription virtual private network (VPN) service for mobile use is targeted at mobile users who take advantage of free and usually unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Free Wi-Fi is common, but especially so in the region in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, Savvides said.

A VPN prevents criminals from seeing what users of unsecured Wi-Fi networks are doing on their mobile phones. Criminals can steal passwords and pictures, leverage the information to send the user to fake sites for phishing, or invite the user to download related materials which actually contain malware.

Savvides agreed that there are other VPN services available, including free ones, but pointed out that no pricing typically means fewer resources are used to support performance, reliability and availability.

"Growth is in line with our ambitions to date. We want to see the business grow, and we want to see it translate to our mobile subscribers," he said of Norton WiFi Privacy, point out that few mobile users adopt VPNs today or mobile security for that matter. "We are in the awareness phase."

In the light of the recent attack on Dyn which shut down major sites such as Spotify and Reddit that had been traced to unsecured Internet of Things (IoT) devices, Savvides shared that Symantec's IoT consultancy service is very popular, explaining that product designers and sales people at IoT device manufacturing companies are not trained in security and cannot conceive that there could be cyberthreats resulting from the way their products have been designed. The company provides manufacturing guidelines for customers and also teaches them how to write security protocols, he said.

"Everyone is confident that their products are secure until they aren't," he said. "The IoT people designing the things don't understand that it could be a problem."

Owners also have a part to play in securing the IoT. "How often do you update your CCTV cameras? Your TV?" he asked.


Pricing for Norton Security starts at S$59. Norton Security is available for purchase online, in retail stores and through value-added resellers as well as at sg.norton.com.