Symantec has in the past faced heavy criticism for security vulnerabilities and usability issues with its Internet security products, especially those applications targeted at the consumer and small business market.
Norman Kohlberger, senior regional product manager for Symantec Asia Pacific, said the main aim of the new product, which will be called Symantec Internet Security AntiSpyware Edition, was to make PC security as easy as possible for the end user.
"Users are saying, 'I don't want to know all the nitty gritty details, I don't want to know the technical stuff, just let me do what I need to do on the Web'. They just want it to work," said Kohlberger, who believes that PCs are becoming a part of everyday life and thought of as domestic appliances.
"The computer is not a toy anymore. It has turned into a toaster and microwave -- it has become an integral part of the home environment. We have to reduce the complexity. People do not want privacy software, firewall, antivirus, spyware, adware and blended threats. The average individual is saying I don't want this anymore. Just fix it. What we are doing is reducing the complexity," said Kohlberger.
He said the new edition was an improvement on its predecessor because it not only protected the users' personal data, but included real-time spyware and adware scanning.
"The challenge we had in earlier products is that we did not have real-time detection and did not remove [spyware] if it was on your system. Now we are going to take the next step," said Kohlberger.
Kohlberger said security vendors had to keep improving their products because the next generation of malware is being developed by organised criminals intent on making money from their victims.
"They are being driven by well funded, highly organised groups of individuals. Call them what you want - mafia, criminal elements -- but it pays. Our research shows they are getting on average a response rate of between three and six percent, which is something any marketing company would be happy with," said Kohlberger.
The beta version of the AntiSpyware application can be downloaded from Symantec's Web site. The full version will only be sold as part of the Norton Internet Security application from June and will cost AU$150.