Symantec End-User Endpoint Security Room for Improvement

Computer Systems Administrator at a university with 10,001+ employees

It wasn't a very good solution overall, which is why we ended up replacing it.

Most organizations are choosing a next-gen antivirus, one that's based on artificial intelligence. Symantec Endpoint Protection was one of those legacy products that have been around forever. Symantec was a spinoff from Norton. Norton Antivirus was one of the very first antiviruses to come out in the 1980s. Symantec was very highly rated at one point in its life. It never really caught on to the new trends and antivirus protection. And so it still relied on things like a database of virus signatures that would need to get downloaded and then files would be checked for those signatures.

Modern antiviruses don't do that. They're based on behavior. They're based on intelligence algorithms. They're honed by artificial intelligence and machine learning from data collected all over the world. And so for that reason, the next-gen antiviruses are much more efficient at detecting viruses. They also take up a lighter load on the computer.

Next-generation is behavior-based detection rather than signature-based detection. Symantec tried to be a hybrid between the two. It had a behavior-based component called SONAR, however, it was still mostly a signature-based software antivirus application. For that reason, you can never keep up with all the mutations and viruses, and you can't keep up with malicious behavior that isn't based on viruses. Things like downloaded PowerShell scripts, things that computers can do with the components that they already have without needing to put any virus on the computer. A lot of malicious attacks, government-backed attacks, don't use any kind of foreign software. They take advantage of vulnerabilities within existing operating systems like Microsoft Windows or the various versions of Linux or the Mac operating system. They don't need to put additional software on the computer to compromise them.

That, in a nutshell, is why we switched to a next-gen antivirus. Next-gen antiviruses have probably been around for about five or six years. Some of the old companies made the transition to them seamlessly. Symantec didn't. It remained wedded to the old technology and that made it, you could say, a has-been.

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Sr. Professional Services Engineer at a computer software company with 11-50 employees

I think Symantec, like many of its competitors, doesn't have comprehensive built-in reporting. The product keeps improving, but reporting and alerting is not keeping pace, and these are critical.

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Network Administrator at a pharma/biotech company with 51-200 employees

We have had some problems with the Symantec solution. The problems were bad enough that I was compelled to start to research into other products. The biggest issue was the whitelisting feature. The Symantec software has a feature that detects certain things as malicious and it takes care of the issue. It is supposed to do that. Sometimes the things it flags are not real issues — they are essentially false positives. Sometimes there are things we want it to let through that it would otherwise flag. We put these things on a whitelist so they get allowed. We were having a problem keeping a particular file on the whitelist. It was an EXE and Symantec kept flagging it even when it was whitelisted.  

To fix the issue, we had to do in-house software development. We had to run some extra code. The process was not smooth and, in the long run, it basically did not work. The support by Symantec on the issue was of no further help and it remained a problem.  

A feature that seems to be missing from Symantec is reporting on external devices. For example, if a remote user gets a virus on their computer and they are accessing our system, I want to know. The Symantec agent should be checking this in the cloud and informing us that a particular end-user got a virus. I should get a report or alert somehow. The computer in question should be isolated — or something like that — to mitigate the potential of the threat. Instead, nothing happens.   

The enterprise product that we have now does not have that feature. Maybe Symantec has that feature implemented in other products, but I do not know about it. Maybe it is not there at all or maybe it is some type of cloud feature. But the end result is I have looked for the solution in the product, can not find it, support did not inform me that it can be resolved, and we are essentially left with a vulnerability. That is really not acceptable.   

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Learn what your peers think about Symantec End-User Endpoint Security. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: March 2021.
476,163 professionals have used our research since 2012.
IT Director at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees

Today, it's just a question of understanding the update package of the operating system as the antivirus software in and of itself is not enough.

This is due to the fact that if I have not updated Windows, I have a huge breach of security. The idea for us, from our point of view, is that the antivirus needs to understand how if Windows is safe. If the operating system is safe, the antiviral has less work to do. From a security point of view, both of them need to work together. It's not just the task of the antivirus to keep all the computers safe. The operating system needs to be updated too.

The operating system and the antivirus need to communicate better with each other and exchange information so that I know everything is secure. It needs to be more clear when things aren't aligned and need to be repaired, in order to avoid the risk of a security breach.

The technical support could be a bit better.

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Senior Network Engineer at a government with 10,001+ employees

This solution is resource-heavy. It uses up a lot of memory and a lot of disk space. It demands a lot of resources. There have been improvements with Windows 10 and it's not as problematic.

The firewall capabilities did not seem to do what the documentation claimed it should do.

Port control is one of the things that this solution does do, but it does it on a higher level. When I say port control, it's things like USB ports that can be used to plug things in. For example, if you plug in a wired mouse or a wireless mouse then you want the flexibility to be able to do that. It should be able to identify that it is a mouse and let you use it. 

By the same token, if you plug in a 1 TB external hard drive, that should be shut down unless it is one of your hard drives. The only way to detect that would be to have units with their own serial number and the system programmed in such a way that it would recognize it.

Seagate for example has many external drives. They have serial numbers on those drives, and we don't want to just set it up for use by any Seagate drive. We want our external drives to be used, only. We don't want to have to go purchase Seagate drives to have it work. We want them to get it from us, that we know works, and have them return it to us.

I would like to see a check-in system where you can log which specific drives your staff can access and what they cannot access.

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Director at a consultancy with 201-500 employees

I'm not sure if the solution can improve that much more. Right now, for me, I'm asking the question "How does Defender stack up against the product we're paying for?" 

Defender comes with Windows 10 and we have Windows 10 throughout our environment. With that being free, we're asking ourselves why we would pay for another solution that's sort of redundant.

I know they were just bought out by Broadcom and there have been some difficulties with Broadcom as far as getting license renewals, etc. Mostly, due to the fact that it's confusing, even for the vendor, people are turned off by it. The vendors are telling us that it can take weeks for them to get a renewal quote, nevermind the actual renewal.

I've actually had to call Symantec myself because my vendor said "Well, we're going to try it, but it's going to take weeks to get an answer from them." In the end, it was internally expedited and I got the answer the next day, however, that's an exception, not the rule.

I know a number of people that have left just because of the fact that when Broadcom first bought them, and their licensing ran out, the company provided a temporary license and then another instead of dealing with a proper license. One had to argue for another renewal or for them to promise to give them the proper license in the third month. He finally got it, however, it took three months of begging. That doesn't seem right.

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Imtiaz Hussain
Malware Hunter and Incident Responder at Computer Network Systems

The device control level and application control level should improve. I am finding a lot of issues when I block the devices, like a printer or scanner. 

In the classes of the devices for the application control, the most important issue is the hashing. Nowadays all the vendors, like Cisco firewalls, are detecting threats with the hashes. 

Symantec has this option that we can block them always by the hashes but the problem is that sometimes Symantec detects these hashes and is not consistent. These two parts should improve. The rest is always awesome. These two parts are very critical because I found a problem in application and device control.

Symantec Endpoint has a perfect agent. It's going to be how many agents you can combine in resources. In the new releases, if they create a single agent to improve the control incrementally, it would be better.

If you want to deploy ATP, you should have a separate event. You have to install separate events. With Symantec Endpoint Protection, any other protection should be installed, then configure the warnings. It does not ask for any new agent to install on the client machine. 

A single agent is enough. Symantec will get a lot of popular support from the industry because people don't like to install agents. For the ATP, you have to install separate events. For the Endpoint, you have to install separate events. If you install all the separate events, it is a huge load on a Windows machine. People start complaining.

If Symantec wants to improve, they should have a single event for all their products, like ATP, DLP, and Endpoint Protection.

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Darren Braithwaite
IT Manager at Digitalis Reputation

Sometimes the interface can be a bit cumbersome, and maybe the help features. If you're not charged with administering the product and you don't do it every day it can sometimes be difficult to remember how to do the simple basic things, so some type of help or guidance for your most regular or frequent tasks would be good. Something similar to what the product called Serviceaid has. 

I also think that the website itself should be improved. They have so many products that when you actually look on their website and you look for helpful guidance you just tend to get lost because they seem to have so much going on. So, basically, a bit more intuitive help and guidance features, as well as more intuitive service information.

Some type of solution for mobile devices would be good. For mobile devices, it's drawing from a Windows-based client, so for many core clients for OSX and Linux machines, those OS could be integrated directly. There's no client for mobile devices except for IOS and Android devices.

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IT Systems Administrator at a consultancy with 51-200 employees

Better communication and coordination with Microsoft would help to prevent delays that are frequent when operating system updates are released. As it is now, when a new build from Microsoft comes out, we get warnings to say that certain applications are not compatible. We sometimes just have to wait until a new version of this solution is released in order for it to work properly. One of the problems is that Microsoft releases updates often, and sometimes they don't tell anybody. This can lead to the whole configuration being corrupted.

I would like to see a hybrid version of this solution that covers both in-house and cloud-based servers. 

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Manager IS Security at a manufacturing company with 5,001-10,000 employees

It would be great if the solution could match up with the competition's offerings - for example, making sure they are keeping up with, for example, CrowdStrike and other offerings.

They need to ensure they are continuously keeping up with cybersecurity trends.

If the next release contained advanced threat protection and EDR, et cetera, it would be really fantastic.

If the agent can be minimized so that it can work with in-memory concepts, that would be ideal. As of now, it is file-based, signature-based. If they should come with an in-memory option, it should work at the random-access memory level also. 

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General Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees

The Centralized Management could be improved. The deployment is very limited. They can improve on reporting as well. If they can improve threat incident analysis, that would be great.

The solution itself is pretty comprehensive at this stage, and the features that we would like to be added to these are available as separate purchases, so I wouldn't that there's anything new that I need in there, they probably covered all the bases at this stage.

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Emiliano Santos
Group Brand Manager at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees

We must have complete dissolution with advance care protection but we are finding out that we need more Symantec technical specialists. We have identified a need to hire at least one more technical specialist familiar with Symantec to improve our solutions capabilities.

Additionally, an endpoint detection response feature would be great but not with an additional license, it should be included as an additional feature. We have identified this as a solution that our customers are very interested in, but they don't want to purchase additional subscriptions.

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Project Manager at a real estate/law firm with 10,001+ employees

We've had some issues with the performance. There have been some minor hiccups. Now it's better. Initially, it had some issues, not for all, but some of the systems only. We had applied a fix that was released in the 14.1 version. By 14.2 they fixed the issue. Ever since we applied 14.2, it's good.

During the scanning time, it could be less intrusive for the users. Right now, it's not exactly working quietly in the background.

Technical support could be more responsive.

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Phillip Evely
Network Administrator at Cape Breton Regional Municipality

The platform itself can be improved as there's no way to track how infections get into the organization. You're just notified if there is an instance. Still, there's no way to actually determine a workflow of how it actually came in, how it was executed, and how it was distributed within the enterprise if indeed it did migrate or propagate through.

It would be really good if they had a proactive feature to isolate the node with the agent on the endpoint when it sees some type of erroneous behavior and knock it off the network. Then it can't probably get onto another node. You can usually do that with a policy setting.

It'll also help if they give us more of an explanation of what the malware tries to do once it's on the network. For example, if it's trying to call home to a specific IP or domain. We can use that information to beef up the firewall rules.

Case in point, we had an issue where we had a machine that was affected. It immediately tried to find other machines on that network segment with the same vulnerability to infect that particular node. There was no way to lock that node down immediately when you see something out of the ordinary.

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Anthony Ndong
Systems Administrator at a pharma/biotech company with 51-200 employees

I would really like some of the features that are available in Kaspersky Enterprise to be available in the client version of this solution.

In the next release of this solution, I would like to see more to do with malware, encryption technology, and controlling mobile devices. I would like to be able to protect my wireless equipment at that level.

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Information Systems Chief at a computer software company with 11-50 employees

The issue is, as per our road-map, we are moving forward with Azure together with the SCCM and the Defender. So actually, Symantec will be retired in another year. That is our overall strategy.

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System Administrator at Suez Canal Insurance

I would like to see improvements in the anti-virus and the device control features.

Anti-Virus: I would like to see Symantec improve the ant-virus to stop and detect Ransomware and email attachments. Symantec is weak with Ransomware. I would like to see the anti-spam for Outlook improve the scanning and blocking of attachments.

Device control: I would like to see an improvement in the USB control, because it sometimes creates a conflict with USB printers.

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Dy General Manager at a real estate/law firm with 501-1,000 employees

The Sandboxing and ATP functionality does not integrate very well, improving this would be helpful. Additionally, having a single console that allows interaction with other security products would be great.

A lot of people have moved to their homes because of the pandemic and this has made endpoint security a crucial part of our protection against threats. Having full integration is very important for all the hardware to work together. If there is any strange network behaviour, all the hardware should work the first time to bring the security flaw forward to be actioned and solved. This only can happen if there are proper communication and integration with other hardware products.

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Sr Manager IT at a retailer with 5,001-10,000 employees

The solution is very difficult to uninstall. There isn't really a way to uninstall the product at all, which is quite a headache.

It's also complicated to upgrade the product. They need to make these aspects much easier.

Sometimes the solution will just randomly stop working. I'm not sure why this happens.

The licensing aspects of the solution could be improved.

I haven't used the product for about five or six months at this point, so it's hard to say which features they are missing and new items may have been added since then.

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Manager at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees

It can maybe send notifications when there is an update and everything is successful.

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Chris Pohts
Owner at ONE2ONE Tech Solutions

This latest version upgrade/migration over the last year has been atrocious.

There have been numerous support issues and calls with Sr. VPs at Symantec, who were always understanding about the problems, but the product has proven unreliable to install and manage. The protection itself seems as solid, but if devices are losing their licensing without notice for no reason, it's only a matter of time before they become compromised.

The bottom line is that when it comes to management, reliability of management, reporting, alerting, installation, and licensing, if these don't work reliably you can't trust the product's security capability.

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Dr. Suresh Hungenahally
Chief Executive Officer at a tech services company with 1-10 employees

The reporting function definitely has room for improvement. If Symantec can provide us with the overall API for accessing and reporting, that would be great. The reporting function needs to be more user-friendly in general. I think we have too much technical level reporting, I think it would be better to have more user and usage types of reporting.

I would like to see in the next release focus more on unusual behavior so that we can know how the end results are behaving and if they are in the clear.

They should also provide users with some sort of training videos, for how to use the solution.

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Karthik R S
Consultant at TNPL

If we install a client's software in our location, such as Microsoft Office or Adobe reader, we would like to have these endpoints protected.

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System Administrator at a consultancy with 51-200 employees

We are not satisfied with this solution. It needs a lot of improvements. It doesn't detect the most recent malware and unknown threats. With most of the users working from home these days, there is also a need for some extra security layer. That's why we are thinking of going for a better solution that will take care of all of our endpoints and work from home situation.

Symantec also has to work on EDI technology. Vendors like Palo Alto and Cisco are coming with their own intelligence and cloud infrastructure in which unknown threats are regularly watched and monitored, and they are reported to the admin.

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Jeevan Kumar
Technical Manager at Digital World

After selling this product, what we have observed is that the system gets slower, which is a major issue.

We would also like to see better pricing. It's almost double when compared to other products.

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Credits Incharge at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees

Some vendors are starting to give Symantec Endpoint Security a run for their money. Even Symantec's basic DLP features are getting to a point where they're good enough for some organizations' endpoint security needs. The company should be anticipating this. It might be a good idea to introduce some additional features to Symantec Endpoint Security.

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Regulatory Specialist at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees

The reporting could be improved.

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Abhijit Chaudhari
IT Specialist at a educational organization with 201-500 employees

Since the acquisition by Broadcom, we are no longer receiving the proper support. Otherwise, we had no specific point points while using this solution.

This product would be improved with the inclusion of EDR functionality.

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Mohamed Belal
Solutions Architect at IP Protocol INC

The pricing is a little bit more expensive than other competitors, if you compare it to Kaspersky, for example, or McAfee.

The detection and response can always be improved.

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Executive Cybersecurity Advisor - President at a tech services company with 11-50 employees

The console in general could be improved. There are two consoles. There's an on-prem console and a hosted console, but the on-prem console doesn't do the product justice — it's a bit cumbersome.

It could use more feature parity between what is offered with their on-prem console as well as their hosted console.

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IT Systems Supervisor at a insurance company with 51-200 employees

They lack the visibility you get in a heuristical, artificial, AI type of product, like a next-gen antivirus. They lack the visibility of what's happening that your next-gen solutions offer.

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Information Technology Manager at a performing arts with 51-200 employees

I think it's a good product but we've had some problems with their support and service. From the beginning of this year, I haven't been able to reach their support. 

Last year, the support wasn't bad but this year I wanted to renew their license, but I can't reach anybody from their company.

We don't have any plans to replace them but we haven't been able to renew a license. 

Sometimes there is a conflict with Windows 10 updates. There is a Windows server or Windows workstation startup after installing the new Windows update. We contacted Microsoft and they said the device caused an issue.

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Angus Yeung
System Analyst with 201-500 employees

It would be perfect if it is capable of detecting or checking ransomware.

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Service Management Officer at a non-profit with 501-1,000 employees

The overall quality of the product needs to be improved because with the last session we had several issues with new versions. Also, the solution needs better protections.

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Prince Matema
Accounting Assistant with 1,001-5,000 employees

It is only available to use on computers with higher-end specs.

I think the software should be compatible with all versions of all computers, even earlier models. This would allow all clients to be included, which is important for those who cannot afford to buy the latest computers.

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IT Systems Supervisor at a insurance company with 51-200 employees

They are lacking the visibility that you get in a heuristical, next-generation AI product. 

In the next release, I would like to see any of the features the next generation antivirus and GAV products have, especially the heuristical and the behavioral analysis. It looks at the behavior of the endpoint, and that is how it identifies something that is not to your normal pattern of working.

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IT Associate Manager at a pharma/biotech company with 501-1,000 employees

Reporting in this solution needs improvement. The product could be improved if it repeated data, and if it showed that data better in the analytics.

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Improvation Security System Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees

It needs to die. In my opinion, Symantec was a really great security company, 10, 15 years ago. They went out, they bought all the great tools and then they never did anything with them. So they've just fallen behind and there's nothing that's going to work now to bring them back up the date that's going to regain user confidence.

In order to improve, I would like to see active remediation tools, where I can connect to systems and do things directly on the system without having to leave the tool.

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Chief information technology officer Executive at a financial services firm with 11-50 employees

We have issues when we install in older systems, such as Windows 7, it's difficult to carry out the set up on these systems.

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Network Server Analyst at Everport Terminal Services

Managements' number one item on the "Wish List" would have to do with the real-time scan of external media inserted into any client.

A secondary concern is software compatibility with other important networked tools: WSUS, Desktop Central, etc, without a large number of exception rules. 

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Hamid Harroud
Assistant Professor at Al Akhawayn University

This solution needs better compatibility with services and applications.

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Learn what your peers think about Symantec End-User Endpoint Security. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: March 2021.
476,163 professionals have used our research since 2012.