Symantec has announced Symantec Managed Endpoint Protection Services, a new set of offerings which provides management and monitoring of endpoint protection technologies to defend users against malware and other sophisticated attacks, such as rootkits, zero-day attacks, and spyware.

The new managed services leverage the customers' existing endpoint protection technologies, Symantec security experts, and the Symantec Global Intelligence Network to secure customer, employee, and corporate data, while providing expert management to help IT departments with the configuration, availability and effectiveness of their endpoint protection technologies.
Symantec's March 2009 Managed Security in the Enterprise report highlighted the need for additional protection from cyber threats that are growing in number and intensity and becoming more effective. According to the report, 88% of the 1 000 enterprise security practitioners surveyed experienced cyber attacks in the past two years with 30% rating these attacks as somewhat or highly effective. Nearly all (97%) experienced some sort of loss, including downtime (46%), theft of customer or employee personally identifiable information (31%) and theft of corporate data (25%).
In addition, Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report, Volume XIV, released in April 2009, underscored the significance of threats to the endpoint.  According to the report, Symantec created more than 1,6-million new malicious code signatures in 2008, representing a 165% increase over 2007 and more than 60% of all the malicious code signatures ever created by Symantec.
To provide relief for IT departments in the face of increasing threats and staffing challenges, Symantec is offering Symantec Managed Endpoint Protection Services, which are composed of deployment, management, and 24×7 monitoring for endpoint protection technologies, including Symantec AntiVirus, Symantec Endpoint Protection, and Symantec Network Access Control. These services enable enterprises to secure information and manage endpoint risks, while lowering total cost of ownership, improving operational efficiencies, and meeting strict Service-Level commitments.
"The number and sophistication of Web-based viruses and malicious code continues to rise, yet organisations are having trouble addressing the problem on their own," said Susan du Bois, services country manager for South Africa at Symantec. "Due to the growing threats and the challenge presented by limited resources, there is an increasing desire to partner with a service provider for the deployment and management of endpoint protection solutions.
"Symantec Managed Endpoint Protection Services, in conjunction with Symantec's broad set of security products and services, provide customers with the confidence that their information is protected completely and managed easily."
Customers want to out-task IT operational activities, such as endpoint protection configuration and security updates, which consume significant time and energy, to focus on more strategic initiatives, fulfill compliance requirements and mitigate their overall IT risk.  In fact, a majority (61 percent) of those surveyed in the Managed Security in the Enterprise report stated they are embracing managed security services for some or all of their IT security needs. Furthermore, organisations continue to deal with staffing challenges with two thirds reporting they are understaffed.
Symantec Endpoint Protection Monitoring extends remote security monitoring and correlation to critical endpoint protection solutions.  Customer data is protected from threats with an around-the-clock remote monitoring service of endpoint protection solutions.  Security events affecting protected endpoints are quickly identified, analysed, and escalated for remediation.
Symantec security analysts also use Global Intelligence Network threat information, along with other security event details from network protection systems, to investigate or validate incidents and appropriately escalate criticality. This helps IT security response staff prioritise those events, which demand immediate attention and allows them to contain outbreaks before they spread.
Symantec Endpoint Protection Management protects data from threats by transferring management of the endpoint protection solutions to Symantec security experts operating under strict Service Level commitments. The service is delivered by security specialists who provide operational and lifecycle management for the endpoint protection infrastructure. This offloads the management burden from in-house security and infrastructure staff and ensures that endpoint protection systems are up-to-date to provide the highest level of proactive protection.