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Symantec announces new cloud security offering, partners with Box

Symantec's new Data Loss Prevention 14 service aims to protect sensitive data stored in the cloud.

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Symantec has launched a new security offering designed to protect data stored in the cloud from loss or theft.

Announced on Tuesday, the security firm's Data Loss Prevention 14 -- now available worldwide -- is the first Symantec security offering which protects against data loss prevention in the cloud as well as Software as a service (SaaS) applications.

Symantec's Data Loss Prevention 14 allows enterprise clients to run content-based scans, monitor employees and file traffic, and ramp up protection for cloud-based email and storage apps.

Cloud technology is being adopted more frequently every year in the enterprise as a way to cut IT infrastructure costs and take advance of SaaS offerings which can boost the efficiency and productivity of a business. However, as corporations move from legacy systems, security and compliance concerns appear -- as data is harder to protect when moved off a local, on-premise location to areas including the cloud which support mobile technology.

Firms including Symantec can capitalize on this by developing solutions based on cloud technology.

"Today's cloud and mobile-driven world create new data protection challenges. Sensitive information is no longer within the safety of your corporate network," said Cheryl Tang, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Enterprise Security at Symantec. "More employees routinely share files using consumer cloud storage solutions - often without IT knowing about it. That means a lot of data is being created and stored in the cloud -- undiscovered, unmonitored and potentially unprotected."

As part of the new offering, Symantec has developed DLP for Cloud Storage, which integrates with cloud storage provider Box's platform to monitor employee accounts, keeps track of sensitive corporate files and monitors where and with whom this data is being shared with by placing "visual tags" on these files.

DLP can also be used to protect corporate files from entering the wrong hands by monitoring and preventing users from syncing sensitive work files from their desktop to their personal accounts from other cloud services including Microsoft OneDrive, iCloud, Google Drive and Dropbox, as well as Gmail.

In addition, Symantec DLP 14 now supports Microsoft Office 365 for cloud-based email. Symantec says DLP customers can now "apply the same information protection policies they use on-premises or in the cloud," in other words, enterprise clients are able to scan the email service to keep corporate files from being stored or sent to unsafe locations or outside of corporate control.

Amit Jasuja, senior vice president of product development at Symantec said in prepared remarks:

"Symantec Data Loss Prevention is a content-aware security technology that helps companies understand where their sensitive corporate information is being stored, how it's being used and how to protect it against loss and theft.

With the latest release, we are extending DLP to cloud email and storage to provide our customers the control and visibility they need to secure their sensitive information as they take full advantage of the cloud. We've also announced a new, robust integration with Box, as it's one of the top requests we've seen from our DLP customers."

The security firm's foray into cloud-based security solutions may become an avenue of future growth for the company, which has struggled with its financial reports of late. In May, Symantec missed analyst expectations by reporting Q4 earnings of $176 million, or 25 cents per share. Wall Street expected earnings of $1.56 billion with 44 cents a share.

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