Let us start with the obligatory disclaimer that if it's been a few years since you've played with a Norton product, things are very different than what you remember them to be. Starting with Norton's 2009 Antivirus and Internet Security Suite products, the emphasis has been on performance, both in terms of picking up malware and leaving a small system footprint, and it's been that way ever since (we've awarded Norton two 9 verdicts in our past three annual antivirus roundups). Now Norton will try and keep its revamped reputation intact with the release of its 2012 security products.
We spoke at length with Norton about its 2012 lineup and were told that the 2012 refresh introduces a handful of new features and a bunch of enhancements, such as adding 120 new rules to its Sonar technology. Many of these new rules are intended to block non-process threats more effectively, like those that come in DLL files, as well as do a better job at detecting fake AV programs.
One of things we're most looking forward to testing is Norton's expanded Management tools, which gives users Web-based access to manage Norton products from any location with an Internet connection. In theory, you should be able to do things like manage security settings and tweak security settings on little Johnny's rig in the downstairs bedroom just as easily as accessing Aunt Florence's machine located across the country.
You can check out the full press release here, and keep your eyes out for an official review in our next annual security roundup in the coming months.