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Symantec today announced the integration of Web Gateway 4.5 into its
Symantec Protection Suite Enterprise Edition following the company’s April
acquisition of Mi5 Networks.

The latest improvement to the Symantec suite adds a new tier of anti-malware
technology to the existing anti-virus engine that is meant to better protect
users from botnet and Web 2.0 attacks. Included within these new layers is
zero-latency, real-time scanning of inbound and outbound traffic and technology
designed to protect against malicious Web sites, active content and application
file downloads prevalent in many Web 2.0-era threats.

The new release comes at a crucial time. In 2008, Web application
vulnerabilities shot up by 60 percent, according to Symantec’s most recent threat

And in its midyear threat report released last week, Symantec reported that its
researchers are now blocking an average of more than 245 million malicious code
attacks worldwide every month. Researchers say that most of these are
never-seen-before threats delivered via the Web.

“Many of these attacks are launched against users who visit legitimate Web
sites that have been compromised by attackers in order to redirect users to
sites that serve malicious content,” the report said. “One form of infection is
drive-by downloads, which allow malicious content to be downloaded onto a
user’s computer without their knowledge or permission.”

Symantec purchased the previously private Mi5 for an undisclosed sum
specifically to integrate Mi5’s Web gateway technology into Symantec’s
collection of tools. The strategic purchase has put the company in a more
tenable position to compete with other Web-centric security vendors such as
Blue Coat and Websense.

“Our customers and partners have made it clear that security solutions that tie
together multiple layers of protection offer the highest return for the lowest
cost of management," said Francis deSouza, senior vice president of the
Enterprise Security Group at Symantec, in a statement following the
acquisition. "Symantec is further addressing the fastest growing path for
malware to infect network environments, and we look forward to integrating this
technology into our security portfolio."