Symantec, Juniper join forces for network, endpoint solutions

Anti-malware blue chip Symantec and hardware giant Juniper Networks announced today they are teaming up to deliver an integrated set of solutions aimed at network and endpoint security.

"One of the real drivers of this partnership is the changing threat landscape," said John W. Thompson, Symantec chairman and CEO, during a conference call this morning. "We have not only seen a rise in the number of threats but also the challenge of responding to those threats rapidly."

Under the partnership, Juniper's leading IP platforms will include Symantec's security content, intrusion detection and prevention signatures and vulnerability information and research. In addition, Symantec will contribute engineering resources to Juniper's development of unified threat management (UTM) and intrusion detection and prevention (IDP) products.

Several months ago, Symantec announced it was dropping production of security appliances, so partnering with Juniper makes sense, Rob Ayoub, a network security analyst with Frost & Sullivan, said today.

"They needed a hardware provider to fill that gap," he said.

Today's announcement comes almost a week after Microsoft and Cisco announced they were joining forces to merge their network admission control and network access protection architectures.

While Thompson and Scott Kriens, Juniper Chairman and CEO, downplayed any connection to that move, analysts say providers increasingly are recognizing the importance of network access control (NAC).

"I think both companies are looking at that area," Ayoub said. "It shows the importance of the hardware-software partnership in today's security environment."

Kriens said that as threats get more complex, they need to be addressed with a complementary solution.

"You attack complicity with simplicity," he said.

As part of this non-exclusive alliance, Symantec and Juniper will continue to support the Trusted Network Connect open standard, a set of NAC standards enabling the enforcement of security requirements for endpoints connecting to the network, according to a joint statement issued today.

Click here to email reporter Dan Kaplan.

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