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Symantec Network Security Review

By
Andreas Rivera
,
business.com writer
| Updated
Jan 24, 2019
Home
> Technology
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Symantec is a leader in nearly all things cybersecurity, from its home versions of Norton Antivirus to business-level endpoint protection. It brings the best of its expertise and technology to its enterprise offerings, creating a formidable network security suite that compiles everything you need to cover your enterprise-sized company. When network security is the priority for your business, Symantec emphasizes secure web gateways built on a proxy architecture rather than setting up a bunch of traditional solutions such as firewalls. Its advanced approach to cybersecurity that can be deployed on large networks while remaining manageable prompts us to name Symantec our best pick for enterprise-level network security. 

Symantec Network Security

Symantec Network Security

The Best Network Security Services of 2019

The Verdict

Symantec has products and services for nearly any scenario, but for enterprises, it specializes in securing networks with one of the most feature-loaded secure web gateways and securing cloud-based assets.

View all our recommendations for network security services on our best picks page.

As many businesses, especially enterprises, shift their networks, services and applications to the cloud, Symantec's network security solutions also place a priority on protecting network data assets that are directly affected by the cloud and could be at risk. Rapid cloud adoption by enterprises everywhere also means preparing for new threats that seize opportunities through this mass adoption of cloud technology to find new attack vectors before the enterprises can even respond. Symantec gives enterprises interested in moving to the cloud a chance to safely shift their data and assets to this type of platform while covering their vulnerable spots and ensuring a safe, smooth transition.

Symantec's SWG solution protects against malware threats that target your network while also preventing zero-day attacks, which grow increasingly pervasive with the new vulnerabilities that come with adopting the cloud.

Symantec's network security is also complemented by its endpoint protection solution, which is optimized to be deployed on an enterprise scale to keep all your company's devices protected, thereby protecting your greater network. Symantec uses machine learning to identify new threats as soon as they emerge, helping to ensure that once a threat becomes known, it won't ever be effective again.

These solutions are all consolidated into a unified platform that's easy for your staff to deploy and maintain, keeping your cybersecurity as efficient as possible. Symantec allows you to cover the most vulnerable parts of your network that can cause the most damage.

Features    

Secure Web Gateway

Sometimes a firewall isn't enough for web security. Many advanced attacks come in the form of encrypted packets meant to fool modern firewalls. These attacks slip through traditional security measures in pieces, then reassemble themselves within the network. Symantec's solution is to make sure no packet of data goes unchecked. The secure web gateway examines all traffic and decrypts all packets, assembling them within the gateway before they reach the network. All traffic is run through antimalware, sandboxes and threat intelligence.

The secure web gateway examines all your incoming and outgoing internet traffic to allow safe browsing for all employees. Using proxy architecture, traffic is processed outside the network and then downloaded to the browser.

Another component of the SWG is a data loss prevention (DLP) engine that administrators can customize and set policies for to make sure that users in the network do not send out sensitive information. This engine combats phishing by monitoring outgoing data to recognize any potentially unauthorized data and checking it against its rule list. Users won't be able to send out credentials for access to the network, whether intentionally or unintentionally. For enterprises that must adhere to privacy regulations, a robust and well-maintained DLP solution is necessary to comply with these requirements.

Web isolation is another technology the SWG uses to protect the network from malware and phishing attempts. This allows your employees to access potential unsafe sites without endangering your network. Code from uncategorized or risk-associated websites is executed outside the network in an isolated proxy, allowing Symantec to see if the URL does contain a threat. This also works on email links, preventing phishing attempts by detecting a malicious link before it can open for the user.

CASB

Symantec's cloud access security broker (CASB) is your main line of defense for your network when a large portion of it is in the cloud. This component is essential when your enterprise uses multiple cloud apps and services, stores data, or interacts with clients over the cloud. With software as a service (SaaS) becoming more commonplace, thanks to high demand from both consumers and business for their lightweight deployment and convenience, it's more important than ever to safeguard them. While many SaaS providers include their own cybersecurity measures and assure clients of their safety, the direct access from the web to a cloud application still leaves them open to attack.

Using API controls, you can sync the CASB to your SaaS applications such as Office 365, Google, Dropbox and Salesforce. This gives you more control over who can access your corporate accounts on these applications, as well as complete histories and logs of activities. Certain data can be marked as classified and tracked within the cloud to ensure it isn't compromised and remains available to authorized users only. You can enforce certain policies and close off access quickly in the case of a breach. If credentials to these accounts ever fall into the wrong hands, you can use the platform to react quickly and make sure the damage doesn't spread to the rest of your enterprise. This feature also actively scans for threats uploaded to the cloud, such as malware that was accidentally uploaded to a Dropbox account.

Endpoint Protection

Safeguarding your company's endpoints is Symantec's next layer of comprehensive network security. Endpoint protection keeps devices safe from attacks and prevents threats from affecting your greater network through any endpoint, even your employees' personal devices. You can purchase Symantec Endpoint Protection 14 for your business separately, but it integrates directly with Symantec's SWG suite. This software solution uses machine learning to identify not only malware within a device, but undiscovered threats. This layered approach to security ensures that all attack vectors through the web, cloud and endpoint are covered and can be deployed on an enterprise level.

Ease of Use

Symantec's security stack allows for vast control over the multiple protection points, giving you agency to set hundreds of rules and policies across your network. This amount of control requires you to have knowledgeable IT personnel on staff to maintain this system and take care of your security infrastructure, as well as act when a cybersecurity incident arises. Fortunately, if you have multiple Symantec modules and products, they can all be brought under one platform and interface for enterprises called the Symantec Management Center. This interface gives you access and controls for the secure web gateway, cloud access security broker and endpoint protection.

From the dashboard, you can access the key components of your suite such as endpoint management, where you can view the statuses of various devices and set access rules. It's your main console for dealing with threats, with alerts displayed front and center to inform you of suspicious activities and quarantined threats.

Symantec solutions can be installed on-premises, on the cloud or in a hybrid format to fit whatever model you prefer. A cloud deployment will keep things lightweight and easy to implement, but if you prefer to keep all security and data in-house, then hardware appliances and software can be installed onsite. Software components of the platform are compatible with all operating systems, and cloud access is supported on all browsers.

Customer Service

Symantec provides several avenues for technical support, including a support portal where you can contact support agents on the Symantec Enterprise website. Here you can also find support forums where you can chat with other Symantec users on a number of different issues. Our experience with Symantec's customer service was positive for the most part. Representatives were able to answer a few of our questions; however, Symantec's non-client service normally directs you to a partner or outside seller for most inquiries about the service and how much of a fit for your company it is. Customer service varies depending on which partner company you're directed to and what region you're in. These companies will often be the ones to conduct risk assessments on your company's network to determine the level of security that would best suit you.

When signing up for the platform, you can also request training for you and your staff on how to properly use and maintain your suite of Symantec solutions. These training courses can be in person or in a virtual class. Symantec also provides a library of instructional webinars and training modules.

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Symantec Network Security

Symantec Network Security

The Best Network Security Services of 2019

The Verdict

Symantec has products and services for nearly any scenario, but for enterprises, it specializes in securing networks with one of the most feature-loaded secure web gateways and securing cloud-based assets.

Andreas Rivera
Andreas Rivera
Andreas Rivera graduated from the University of Utah with a B.A. in Mass Communication and is now a staff writer for Business.com and Business News Daily. His background in journalism brings a critical eye to his reviews and features, helping business leaders make the best decisions for their companies.