Release Update 4 for Symantec EndPoint 12.1 is now available. It can be downloaded from FileConnect by customers with current maintenance and as a trial from the public site for those that wish to try it out.
Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.1.4 has added support for a number of new operating systems including:
- Windows Server 2012 Release 2 (R2)
- Windows 8.1
- Mac OSX 10.9
In addition to this, there have been a lot of features added on the Mac OS side. Symantec had seen a dramatic rise in malware targeted towards the Mac and 12.1.4 is the response to that. One such example was the Flashback virus which affected approximately 600,000 Mac computers back in 2012. In fact, Symantec reports that the number of malware variants in 2012 almost doubled for the Mac. Symantec proposes that this huge increase in Mac malware coincides with Apple’s continued market share growth, especially in the enterprise. As this market share continues to grow Symantec estimates so will the malware variants.
To combat this growing threat Symantec now offers Network Threat Protection for the Mac. This was previously a feature that was only available on the PC. The inclusion of Network Threat Protection now gives Mac users a powerful best-in-class Intrusion Prevention System. This provides an additional layer of security to the already powerful antivirus and anti-malware engines.
However, the SEP client on the Mac side is still not as full featured as the PC side. For example, the Mac side still lacks SONAR, Symantec’s reputation and behavioral engines, that allow or block processes based on whether the rest of the Symantec community have seen that process and if so, is it doing anything out of the ordinary.
Another great addition is that Macs can now get their definitions updates directly from the Management Server. This enhancement will significantly reduce internet bandwidth consumption as Macs previously could only get updates by directly making outbound connections over the internet. A lot of Macs equaled a lot of downloads. Now with the Management Server only downloading the updates once this greatly reduces any potential saturation of an internet connection.
Lastly, Symantec also added the ability to remotely push the Symantec EndPoint client directly to Macs from a Windows-based server. This significantly simplifies the deployment of both Macs and PCs under a common push method.
This is a lot of great progress on the Mac side and as time progresses we can only assume that the rest of the feature set will become available bringing it on par with its PC counterpart.