Juniper joins forces with Symantec

Juniper Networks Inc. and Symantec Corp. will jointly work on unified threat management (UTM) and intrusion detection and prevention (IDP) products, and in the long term will extend their partnership to anti-virus and threat detection.

The pairing, announced earlier this month, will first aim to enhance Juniper’s UTM and IDP offerings, with its Integrated Security Platforms combining with Symantec’s anti-spam, IDP and IPS (intrusion protection systems) signatures, vulnerability information and research.

Juniper provides products for building IP (Internet Protocol) networks, while Symantec is a security software vendor with products for individual PC users and companies. The partnership will pair the network protection element of Juniper’s business with the desktop security provided by Symantec.

The companies will also integrate their existing endpoint compliance and access control products to develop standards-based enforcement and compliance software. They will keep working jointly to support the Trusted Network Connect open standard, which is a set of non-proprietary network access control specifications.

The products that are expected to emerge from the partnership will be marketed and sold by both companies. Meanwhile, Symantec will recommend Juniper’s integrated security and IDP products to its enterprise customers and Juniper will likewise market and sell Symantec security content as part of its Integrated Security Solutions portfolio.

The partnership was announced by Scott Kriens, chairman and CEO of Juniper, and John Thompson, Symantec’s chair and CEO. While the two executives skirted the question of how they would immediately tackle the existing problem of product overlap, they emphasized that the partnership calls for Juniper to take the lead in building hardware appliances, with Symantec providing software-based content filtering, including anti-virus and anti-spam protections.

“Customer hardware development was not our forte,” noted Thompson. “We’ll let Juniper focus on custom hardware design.”

A few months ago a leaked internal memo made it known that Symantec, which sells the Symantec Gateway Security (SGS) line of multipurpose

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