Symantec has released live betas of Norton Internet Security 2010 and Norton AntiVirus 2010.
The updates to Symantec's flagship antimalware products feature reputation-based security technologies as part of what the company is calling a new security model - codenamed "Quorum" - that Symantec says will 'tackle undiscovered malware and today's toughest threats head-on'.
Expected to launch in the autumn of this year, the 2010 models of Symantec's Norton lineup represent a radical change of approach from the world's biggest security vendor. They will all be Windows 7 compatible.
The NIS 2010 beta is available for free from www.norton.com/nis2010beta, Norton AntiVirus 2010 beta: www.norton.com/nav2010beta. (Only those people who consider themselves sufficiently technically savvy to deal with software glitches and flaws should test beta software, particularly security software.)
Symantec says it is seeing more than 200 million online attacks each month, and that as a consequence traditional signature-based security solutions are now 'obsolete'. Due to the rapidly changing and exponential nature of the threat, it is no longer sufficient to recognise threats in the wild, and then write signatures to counter them.
"Looking at the sheer volume of infected systems in the world, one thing is resoundingly clear: basic security protection is not good enough," said Symantec senior vice presidet Rowan Trollope.
"Norton pioneered the signature-based model of security and today we're introducing a new standard that reconsiders all facets of protection.
"'Quorum' lets us stop the bad guys even if we've never seen their 'wanted' poster."
Subsequently, Quorum introduces reputation-based threat detection, and includes significant tweaks to other areas of the security arsenal.
Using millions of users who feed back information to Symantec's researchers, the Norton 2010 products will be able to make judgments on code based on a reputation score. The products also include Symantec's SONAR 2 technology, which is behavioural antimalware, as well as the traditional signature-based antivirus and antispyware products.
"Symantec is in a unique position to bring this approach to market due to our unmatched installed base and the fact that we've had teams of engineers developing and refining this technology for the past three years," said Trollope.
"No other vendor's approach to consumer protection comes close. Our new approach changes the 'rules' by both enhancing traditional security techniques to make them more aggressive and by making it dramatically more difficult for attackers to evade detection by simply changing their malware."