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Symantec And Nortel Partner On Next-Generation Network Security

Nortel and Symantec have signed a partnership to co-develop security defenses against a wide variety of threats from the core of the network through the desktop. The partnership is designed to help service providers and enterprises eliminate threats before they have the opportunity to spread through corporate and public networks.

The partnership's first initiative is the development of a prototype high-performance security engine that can be deployed within the existing switched-network infrastructure, to stop attacks before they reach servers. It combines Symantec security software and expertise with Nortel's hardware- accelerated deep-packet inspection. It is based on Nortel's industry-leading application switch portfolio, and stops threats using signatures updated in near real-time by Symantec's LiveUpdate technology.

The companies claim that adding a layer of protection at the network level, and so taking a more proactive approach to protection, is a critical complement to the defenses already deployed throughout an enterprise.

The companies say their partnership is needed because of the increasingly virulent threats to networks. Symantec has documented more than 4.5 times the number of new viruses and worms in the first six months of 2004 compared to 2003. During the first three minutes of the Slammer worm's spread, the number of infected machines doubled roughly every 8.5 seconds, Symantec claims. This is more than 250 times faster than Code Red, which hit in mid-2001 and had a doubling time of 37 minutes, the company added.

"Service providers are positioned to be the first line of defense against many of today's threats to critical communications around the world. We are working with Symantec to provide purpose-built solutions for the service provider and enterprise space," Bill Owens, president and chief executive officer, Nortel said in a statement.

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