Symantec releases first anti-malware software to work with VMware vShield security system

Symantec today announced availability of its first anti-malware software protection that supports VMware's security architecture known as vShield, becoming the latest anti-malware vendor to do so following similar moves by Trend Micro, Kaspersky Lab and McAfee, among others.

Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) 12.1.2 can be used to scan, detect, block and remediate against anti-malware in Windows hosts used in the VMware environment with the same effectiveness as SEP used in a non-VMware environment, says Director of Product Management Michael Marfise. "We took our de-duping scanning capability and integrated it into vShield," he says, pointing out the end result using the hypervisor-based software with ESX is better performance and less of an impact on resources through the agentless vShield architecture.

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The updated version of SEP also supports Microsoft Windows 8, as well as Apple Mac OS 10.8 Mountain Lion.

VMware's vShield architecture, broadly defined as a set of APIs for various security functions, has been something of a contentious issue in the past, with security vendors apt to criticize the vShield development process as too closed for close participation with VMware or the underlying technology inadequate to squeeze in the full functionality of their products.

In August, VMware, in announcing the vCloud suite at its annual conference, indicated it wouldn't call its security APIs by the name "vShield" in the future but instead refer to the security architecture as "vCloud Networking and Security," or VCNS. At the time, Jonathan Gohstand, director of product marketing for networking and security at VMware, pledged that VMware would strive to have a more open approach toward working with third-party security vendors. He also noted the security architecture proposed by VMware would be changing and expanding.

Symantec's Marfise said the security firm continues to work with VMware to track and provide input on VMware's evolving security architecture.

SEP 12.1.2, available today, costs $31.80-$54.18 per user license with discounts for multi-year purchases, and anyone with an active subscription to SEP 12 at the time of the product release is eligible for a free upgrade.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: @MessmerE. Email:

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