Get Ready For Some Big Updates!
The team here at Norton works hard to deliver the best protection money can buy. We’re customers too, and we’re passionate about security. Late last year we announced a new, simplified portfolio of multi-platform products based on the brand, Norton Security. The products in this lineup are designed to simplify the decision-making process for new customers by providing total protection across all of a customer’s devices.
While we believe the benefits of this new approach are strong, many of our existing customers still use our trusty versions of Norton Antivirus, Norton Internet Security and Norton 360. After all, these products still work great and provide the features we want. For our customers using these products, we have great news.
Beginning this month, we will begin automatically updating customers with a new PC client that provides the best usability, performance and protection that we offer to-date. We’re rolling these updates out to users over the next several months, however, you have an opportunity to get these features now.
New Look and Feel - The most obvious change is the new, clean, modern look and feel of the user interface. A number of folks worked hard on this user interface and we think you’re going to love it. We developed this user interface with two goals in mind:
Status at a Glance
The health and status of your PC is front and center. In order to do this we put the most important information on the primary screen and with a color scheme that quickly gets your attention if there are any problems.
Information and Features at Your Fingertips
With this update, you have easy access to the features you’ve told us are most important to you. Simply select a category and the most frequently used features appear from behind a beautiful slide down window.
Next Generation Anti-malware Engine - A new, real-time malware detection engine fundamentally changes the way traditional file-based antivirus protection is delivered to you. Key features of this new engine include:
Symantec’s Deep Intelligence Network
Over 4.3 trillion relationships now power all of Norton’s real-time protection. Every time you click a file, Norton evaluates it against thousands of criteria to determine if it is an attack. By relying on Norton’s cloud, we have reduced the size of definitions, which normally used to take up space on your hard drive, by 80%. This is our quickest and lightest Norton yet.
Real-time Definition Updates of Quickly Evolving Malware
Typical approaches to virus protection require virus definitions, also known as a virus database that catalogs all known threats, to be produced and then delivered to devices on a periodic basis. This process can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, leaving a window where customers are unprotected. Using Norton’s cloud, we can deliver real-time information about new threats, which greatly improves our speed to protect you against the latest cybersecurity dangers.
Intelligent Protection - Speaking of faster, we’ve created additional features designed to deliver security smarter, faster and easier. Some of the new features include:
Intelligent Boot-time Protection
We know you need to get to work (or play) quickly when you turn on your PC. But those first few moments after you boot your PC are crucial: that’s when your system is most vulnerable, and when malicious threats can attack. New features in our software can monitor for threats before your operating even system loads. Detection of such changes triggers Norton to automatically enter aggressive boot-time protection mode, which ensures complete protection during the boot up process.
New Aggressive Threat Detection Rules
Our malware removal tool, Norton Power Eraser, has included a set of aggressive threat detection rules to identify new threats. Normally this tool has been reserved for deeply complex threats, because it comes with a higher risk of falsely identifying innocent software in its attempt to remove malware. This update leverages many of the rules used by Norton Power Eraser, but without risking innocent software removal. As a result, your security software is now able to better identify even the most resilient threats.
Automatic Aggressive Botnet Scanning Triggers
When malware installs itself on a computer system, it often attempts to connect to the outside world in order to receive new instructions (for example: a botnet “command and control” center). We have included a new set of network monitoring tools that monitor outbound traffic looking for suspicious activities. When these activities are found, your software will automatically prompt you to run Norton’s aggressive scan detection capabilities in order to remove the culprit.
Smart Ping Payload Data-leakage Protection
When your computer connects to a remote web site or server to make a request or determine if it is available, it does this by sending a packet of data called a “ping”. Many firewalls do not block these useful, outbound messages. Unfortunately, malware writers are smart and have figured out how to piggyback additional information onto these messages to send data to a remote server. This could include sensitive information such as credit card data. Improvements to our Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) allow the flow of regular ping messages, while blocking suspicious pings that may include a malicious application trying to send your information out to the bad guys.
Smart-sharing of Enhanced Norton Community Watch Malicious Website Data
We have enhanced our Norton Community Watch program to better track and share information about malicious websites. Think of it as crowd sourcing for new scams, tricks and malware. This information is used to provide earlier blocking of phishing or scam web sites before they have a chance to trick others into unknowingly providing personal data.
Smarter Browser Protection Minus the Plug-ins
Most web browsers include the ability for users to add functionality through 3rd party extensions that are known as plug-ins. As a customer, you may be using a security plug-in with your browser developed by the team at Norton to provide additional security when you are surfing the web. Unfortunately, these extensions can allow attackers easier access due to the fact that they can have security vulnerabilities, just like any other software program. As a result, browser makers are starting to restrict plug-ins and extensions. In order to prepare for this future, we have rebuilt several of Norton’s security features to work outside of the traditional browser plug-in. This still allows browser protection to grow with the changes in technology, enabling you to continue to use features like Norton Safe Web and Norton Web Protection, without having to worry about whether your browser will support plug-ins in the future.
Refined Defenses Against Socially-engineered Attacks
The bad guys don’t always rely solely on technology in order to attack our computers. Many attacks begin with social engineering to take advantage of our natural human tendency to trust those things which appear familiar to us. In order for Norton to better cut through social engineering attempts, many Norton protection technologies, including Safe Web, Scam Insight, Download Insight, and Anti-Phishing, have all been refined to better share information with each other. This sharing allows information about web sites (i.e., the site’s age, its popularity, its volume of malicious downloads and its prior history of collecting personally identifiable information) to be combined across these technologies and better determine if a site is being used as part of a new social-engineered attack scam.
Next-generation SONAR Technology
SONAR is the name for our security engine, which analyzes suspicious behavior to determine if an attack is occurring. In this update we have redesigned SONAR to identify and stop new behaviors, as well as techniques that the bad guys have developed to hide their malicious activity.
Performance Improvements - We’ve included many new improvements to optimize performance and ensure you are protected. These improvements include:
Windows 10 Compatible
This update is compatible with Windows 10. With this update you can rest assured that when you update to Windows 10, your Norton software will be ready.
Performance Tuned for the Latest Windows 8.x Updates
All Norton products are tested thoroughly with Microsoft’s ADK performance assessment user scenarios on the latest Windows 8 platforms.
Conserving Battery Power on Connected Standbys
Norton passes the Windows 8 connected standby WHQL requirement – consuming less than 5% of battery life on a system in standby mode for 16 hours, while connected to a network.
Faster Browser Experience
Freeing the browser from plug-ins means one less item to load into memory while browsing web sites. This improves the launch speed of your favorite browsers while browsing websites.
Best-in-class Real-time Performance
The new Norton maintains the best-in-class performance while providing more protection. Performance is not a tradeoff option for new improved Norton.
Automatic Delivery - We’re delivering these updates to our customers automatically over the next few months. However, there will be a few differences in your experience depending on your version.
Customers on Versions 20 or 21
Norton Antivirus, Norton Internet Security, Norton 360 or Norton One users will receive their updates automatically and silently. There is no need to do anything to automatically get the update.
Customers on Versions 18 or 19
Norton Antivirus, Norton Internet Security, Norton 360 or Norton One customers will receive a desktop notice that an update is available. You must confirm that you want to accept the update in order to proceed with installation.
Customers on Versions 17 or Earlier
Norton Antivirus, Norton Internet Security, Norton 360 or Norton One customers will not automatically receive an update notice. You must manually update using the steps found here.