Symantec has announced the launch of a hosted version of its endpoint protection via its Hosted Services brand.

Designed for small and medium businesses, it said that Symantec Hosted Endpoint Protection will allow endpoint systems to be secured with a single solution managed from a web-based console that offers advanced protection from the endpoint to the gateway.

According to the company, the MessageLabs Hosted Web Security Service offers enhanced roaming and remote worker support options to help organisations secure and enforce proper web use in numerous environments.

Among the features are SmartConnect, which protects against malware, enforces web acceptable usage policies for roaming users and detects geographic location for optimal service performance. RemoteConnect helps protect and enforce web acceptable use policies for teleworkers or employees at remote offices.

Speaking at the Symantec Vision conference in Barcelona this week, Rowan Trollope, senior vice president of Symantec Hosted Services, claimed that the solution is simply Symantec's Endpoint Protection in the cloud, and the question that customers immediately ask is how is that done, as they need software installed on the PC?

He said: “The answer is that is right, but what is hosted is the management console, so this is great for small businesses who want to protect all of their desktops but do not want to buy a server and bracket and install a management console and do all of the work required for the management of the desktop.

“So what a lot of small customers do is they just don't manage it or they outsource it. So we have made this very easy. We host that management console in the cloud so your 50 desktops will all be talking directly back to the internet and you can log into our website and that is your management console.

“You can do many of the things that you can do with Symantec Endpoint Protection with the management console, but you can deploy in the cloud. We are targeting the small to medium business with 250 users and below, because that is where there is a significant benefit to deploy this. We call it a hybrid solution because there is a piece sitting in your desktop and a piece sitting in the cloud, we have licensed it and will be selling it as a service, so you pay per user per month.”

He further commented that small businesses say that they do not use all of the features, so Symantec Hosted Services chose the important features and built it into the management console.

“It will be customers who say they want the existing setup and want management console, we say Symantec has a console you tell us how you want to manage your infrastructure,” he said.

“Virtually all workers with a laptop are becoming roaming workers regardless of where they spend their time between 9am and 5pm. Employees are more commonly migrating over numerous network environments and geographic locations presenting IT with the challenge of enforcing usage policies, ensuring the protection of laptops and other endpoints and safeguarding employee communications.”