Symantec Endpoint Protection

Symantec Endpoint Protection, developed by Broadcom Inc., is a security software suite that consists of anti-malwareintrusion prevention and firewall features for server and desktop computers.[2] It has the largest market-share of any product for endpoint security.[3]

Version history[edit]

The first release of Symantec Endpoint Protection was published in September 2007 and was called version 11.0.[4] Endpoint Protection is the result of a merger of several security software products, including Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition 10.0, Client Security, Network Access Control, and Sygate Enterprise Edition.[4] Endpoint Protection also included new features.[4] For example, it can block data transfers to unauthorized device types, such as USB flash drives or Bluetooth devices.[4]

At the time, Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition was widely criticized as having become bloated and unwieldy.[2] Endpoint Protection 11.0 was intended to address these criticisms.[2] The disk footprint of Symantec Corporate Edition 10.0 was almost 100 MB, whereas Endpoint Protection’s was projected to be 21 MB.[2]

In 2009, Symantec introduced a managed service, whereby Symantec staff deploy and manage Symantec Endpoint Protection installations remotely.[5] A Small Business Edition with a faster installation process was released in 2010.[6] In February 2011, Symantec announced version 12.0 of Endpoint Protection.[7] Version 12 incorporated a cloud-based database of malicious files called Symantec Insight.[7] Insight was intended to combat malware that generates mutations of its files to avoid detection by signature-based anti-malware software.[7] In late 2012, Symantec released version 12.1.2, which supports VMware vShield.[8]

A cloud version of Endpoint Protection was released in September 2016.[9] This was followed by version 14 that November.[10] Version 14 incorporates machine learning technology to find patterns in digital data that may be indicative of the presence of a cyber-security threat.[10] It also incorporates memory exploit mitigation and performance improvements.[3]


Symantec Endpoint Protection is a security software suite that includes intrusion preventionfirewall, and anti-malware features.[11] According to SC Magazine, Endpoint Protection also has some features typical of data loss prevention software.[12] It is typically installed on a server running WindowsLinux, or macOS.[13] As of 2018, Version 14 is the only currently-supported release.[14]

Endpoint Protection scans computers for security threats.[11] It is used to prevent unapproved programs from running,[11] and to apply firewall policies that block or allow network traffic.[15] It attempts to identify and block malicious traffic in a corporate network or coming from a web browser.[16] It uses aggregate information from users to identify malicious software.[12] As of 2016, Symantec claims to use data from 175 million devices that have installed Endpoint Security in 175 countries.[12]

Endpoint Protection has an administrative console that allows the IT department to modify security policies for each department,[11] such as which programs or files to exclude from antivirus scans.[12] It does not manage mobile devices directly, but treats them as peripherals when connected to a computer and protects the computer from any malicious software on the mobile devices.[12]


In early 2012, source code for Symantec Endpoint Protection was stolen and published online.[17] A hacker group called “The Lords of Dharmaraja” claimed credit, alleging the source code was stolen from Indian military intelligence.[18] The Indian government requires vendors to submit the source code of any computer program being sold to the government, to ensure that they are not being used for espionage.[17] In July 2012, an update to Endpoint Protection caused compatibility issues, triggering a Blue Screen of Death on Windows XP machines running certain third-party file system drivers.[19] In 2014, Offensive Security discovered an exploit in Symantec Endpoint Protection during a penetration test of a financial services organization.[20] The exploit in the Application and Device control driver allowed a logged-in user to get system access.[20] It was patched that August.[20] In 2019, Ofir Moskovitch, a Security Researcher discovered a Race Condition bug which involves 2 Critical Symantec Endpoint Protection Client Core Components: Client Management & Proactive Threat Protection and directly results in Protection Mechanism Failure that can lead to a Self-Defense Bypass, aka “SEMZTPTN” – Symantec Endpoint Minimized Timed Protection.[21]


According to Gartner, Symantec Endpoint Protection 14 is one of the more comprehensive endpoint security products available and regularly scores well in independent tests.[3] However, a common criticism is that customers are “fatigued” by “near constant changes” in the product and company direction.[3] SC Magazine said Endpoint Protection 14 was the “most comprehensive tool of its type . . . with superb installation and documentation.”[12] The review said EndPoint Protection had a “no-brainer setup and administration,” but it does have a “wart” that support fees are “a bit steep.”[12]

Forrester said version 12.1 was the most complete endpoint security software product on the market, but the different IT security functions of the software were not well-integrated.[22] The report speculated the lack of integration would be addressed in version 14.[22] Network World ranked Symantec Endpoint Protection sixth in endpoint security products, based on data from NSS Labs testing.[23]