Brian Bloom is a staff writer at ComputerWorld Canada. You can find him on . He covers enterprise hardware and software, information architecture and security topics.

Symantec Corp.  has announced a new product the company says will bring improved flexibility, security and a better user experience to cloud-based applications and services. In parallel, Symantec said Tuesday it is partnering with VMware to integrate five new security components into the virtualization company’s products.

The new product, called O3,  has several components, the first of which being released is cloud identity and access control , a gateway that information from users must pass through before it reaches the cloud. “The new control point allows IT to inject policy into the information flow, into the data-stream itself,” says Dave Elliot, senior product marketing manager of global cloud marketing at Symantec.

Symantec O3 will address two major security dilemmas that have plagued enterprises recently, he says.“Device-centric security controls are eroding as the new devices come into your business. That’s on one side. On the other side there are these hundreds of public cloud applications available, which is making network-centric security controls more difficult.”
He also emphasized another benefit of the new product is the ability to offer “insanely great convenience” for the users, providing them with a single identity across physical networks, private clouds and public clouds alike.
“For the users, we’ve federated their identities so they only have that one password to remember. It simplifies their life because they only now have a single password to remember.”
“Device-centric security controls are eroding as they new devices come into your business. That’s on one side. On the other side there are these hundreds of public cloud applications available, which is making network-centric security controls more difficult.
“This is something that we’ve learned in a modern era,” says Elliot, “anything that you deliver that requires your users to change their behaviour, in this day and age, in this environment, runs the risk of non-compliance.”
Elliot said Symantec O3 “can be deployed on your own premises, it can be deployed and hosted by Symantec, or it can be deployed as a hybrid.”
 
On the new integration with VMware [Nasdaq: VMW], Elliot says Symantec’s focus in working with the software company is “on making virtual environments as secure, or more secure, than physical environments.”
“The net result of that will be that companies will be able to implement business critical applications in business critical environments with a greater level of confidence.”
The new Symantec VMWare integrations include:
– Critical system protection;
– Data loss prevention;
– A control compliance suite;
– Managed security services;
– Endpoint solutions.
“It’s a technical integration announcement more than anything else,” Elliot explains.
Meanwhile, Intel Corp. announced the availability of a cloud-based single sign-on (SSO) authentication and authorization service under a beta program expected to become a generally available offering later this spring.

Vikas Jain, Intel’s director of product management in the software and services group, says the service has evolved out of a product called the ExpressWay CloudAccess 360, which was part of the McAfee cloud-security platform that Intel [Nasdaq: INTC] gained with its acquisition of McAfee a year ago.

The Intel Cloud SSO is a way that enterprises can provision and de-provision users and authorize applications and services entirely through a cloud-based service. It will compete with the growing number of cloud-based SSO services from security vendors, including Symantec and Symplified Inc.

Symantec [Nasdaq: SYMC] also announced a new licensing program called CCSK (Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge) in partnership with the Cloud Security Alliance this week. Cost of a three-day course will be around $2,000, Elliot says.

–With files from Ellen Messmer (Network World)


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