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Johanne Torres[December 8, 2004]

Nortel and Symantec Work on Net Security


There may be companies hesitating to go a head with their VoIP ( define - news - alert) switchover plans fearing the lack of security or the uncertain reliability of systems based on VoIP technologies and other network integration tools. Technology vendors however, are now working hard to make services available that are reliable and secure. Nortel (quote - news - alert) and Symantec (quote - news - alert) are among those companies that are currently combining their expertise in high-performance networks and information security to establish a strategic relationship intended to provide next generation solutions for seamless defense against a wide variety of threats from the core of the network through the desktop.

“Embedding security at the network level complements a broader defense-in-depth strategy critical to protect against today’s threats,” said John W. Thompson, chairman and chief executive officer, Symantec. “Nortel’s incumbent position with carriers globally as well as the company’s experience across all network types--wireless, wireline, cable and enterprise--combined with Symantec’s unparalleled expertise dedicated to addressing the dynamic threat environment are ideal complements unmatched in the industry.”

The two companies announced a relationship today, which would make possible for service providers and enterprises to eliminate specific threats before they have the opportunity to spread. Thanks to the new partnership, the companies will be combining Nortel’s hardware-accelerated deep-packet inspection with Symantec’s expertise in countering global threats to develop a prototype of a high-performance security engine that can be deployed within the existing switched-network infrastructure. When deployed in a data center, the technology is expected to address the most dangerous attacks within the high-speed, switched network before they can reach the servers. Based on Nortel’s application switch portfolio, this new prototype tracks and stops threats using signatures updated in near real-time by Symantec’s LiveUpdate technology.

“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,” said Bill Owens, president and chief executive officer, Nortel. “Nortel’s leadership in delivering secure, reliable, high-performance networks and Symantec’s leading position in Internet security is an ideal strategic combination for delivering on the industry’s need for ironclad, secure communications, anywhere, anytime on any device.”

Throughout this new agreement, the two companies have identified synergies among their respective offerings, including hosted and ‘do-it-yourself’ security applications, client compliancy solutions, and traditional security products and services such as antivirus and firewall solutions. In a Memorandum of Understanding signed by both companies, Nortel and Symantec undertake the development and delivery of specific products and services resulting from this relationship, which are subject to execution of a binding agreement between the companies.



Johanne Torres is contributing editor for and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She can be reached by e-mail at


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