During a media presentation in Wellington, New Zealand, David Sykes, Symantec vice president Pacific region, showed the results of a regional survey on consumers’ on-line habits.
Of respondents to the survey, 47 percent are concerned about online banking security, with a similar number (45 percent) worrying about the security of shopping online.
An even bigger number, 59 percent of consumers, are actually concerned about identity theft. But most of those think that identity theft is something that happens in the real world, with only 14 percent of respondents believing that computer spyware and on-line transactions are a source of identity theft.
To tackle the growing problem of consumer safety on-line, Symantec is introducing later this year the Norton Confidential software package. The product will feature integrated protection focusing on fraud site protection, website authentication, crimeware protection, password security, and confidential information blocking.
Users running the software will be able to differentiate between a legitimate banking or commerce website and a phishing scam. The software will integrate with the user’s browser experience and flag websites with large green or red notices, allowing the user to decide to continue or not with a transaction.
At the same time, users will be alerted of the presence of other criemware, such as keyloggers, preventing the capture of passwords entered during the login process. To enhance security, a password subsystem will allow users to store passwords and automatically fill in login forms, bypassing the mechanism used by keylogger software.
According to a previous statement from Symantec, when asked about the competition between the company’s products and the hardened Microsoft Windows Vista OS currently being tested, “Microsoft is taking care of the basics by improving the security of its newest operating system, Windows Vista, but Vista is not a security solution. Microsoft is focused on fixing problems and hardening the OS, but is not positioned to address the broader needs of the market. Businesses and consumers should not be confused by the Vista security discussion - it does not provide the full protection that customers need.”
Norton Confidential will be available for Microsoft Windows in September 2006, and for Apple Mac OS X in the following October.