Symantec has unveiled the first public betas of its forthcoming Norton security products. Norton Security 2015 Beta and Norton Security with Backup 2015 Beta reveal the company’s attempt to harmonise its two main security products.
Both products sport a redesigned user interface based on the old Norton 360 product, plus sport a number of major new protection and performance improvements.
The first change that users will note are the product names, with Norton Security 2015 replacing Norton Internet Security and Norton Security with Backup 2015 replacing Norton 360 respectively. The name change is logical and – some might say – long overdue, bringing both products closer together.
The new user interface has been modelled Norton’s 360 product rather than the previous version of Internet Security, splitting the program’s features into easily identifiable tabs. Security, Identity, Performance and More Norton (a link to additional Norton products) can be found in both products, while an additional Backup tab is added to the Norton Security with Backup 2015 interface.
Clicking a section reveals four separate buttons, such as scans, LiveUpdate, History and Advanced for the program’s Security section. Symantec hopes the new approach makes the program simpler to use and its advanced features more accessible.
The 2015 release also debuts what Symantec terms its “next generation” anti-malware engine, which uses cloud-based technologies to evaluate files as they’re accessed for potential malware. Switching to cloud-based analysis means updates and definitions can be pushed out quicker to customers, but it also reduces the size of locally stored definition files by 80 per cent.
Other improvements include intelligent boot-time protection, more aggressive threat detection heuristics and automatic aggressive botnet scanning triggers. Smart ping payload data-leakage protection has been added along with improved Norton Community Watch integration.
Norton Security 2015 also rebuilds its browser protection features to make them “plug-in less”. This allows them to work outside of traditional browser plug-in architectures, which increases the scalability of its protection.
Protection against social engineered attacks has also been increased, with Norton’s existing tools, such as Safe Web, Download Insight and Anti-Phishing, all now tweaked to more easily share information with each other to deliver better protection.
Norton’s SONAR engine – which is used to detect brand new threats based on their behaviour – has also been improved to make it more effective against malware that is able to inject malicious threads into trusted application processes as well as programs that attempt to drop malicious files on the system.
The new builds also sport various performance improvements, including better energy conservation of batteries when the computer is in standby.
Both Norton Security 2015 Beta and Norton Security with Backup 2015 Beta are available as a trial downloads now for PCs running Windows XP or later. When released, both versions will be available to those running Norton Internet Security or Norton 360 with a valid subscription as a free update.