Symantec has signed agreements with both VeriSign and Accenture for its new Security 2.0 approach to protecting consumers and business from the latest and greatest security threats.

The partnership with VeriSign will see it support VeriSign's Identity Protection (VIP) authentication service, which protects users online by issuing them a password that can be used across multiple websites. Symantec will embed VIP into a future version of Norton Confidential.

"When consumers are confident, they feel safe going online - they know their identities are protected," said Symantec CEO John Thompson. The deal gives Symantec an "infrastructure that allows us to extend" its online protection to more users, he added.

The Accenture deal has established a new "security transformation services" organisation to which Symantec will dedicate 1,000 security professionals to build data security infrastructure and services for business customers, Thompson said. It will focus on compliance, overall security operations management and building more secure applications.

Thompson made a distinction between security threats such as viruses and worms that he said have all but been eradicated, and new threats that are designed to steal information and data for financial profit. Under its Security 2.0 plan, Symantec will focus on phishing, identity theft and internal threats such as those that steal information and data, and noncompliance with internal policies and external regulations.

"Criminal elements are going after what is truly valuable in this day and age - information," Thompson said. He said that nearly 60 percent of all companies expect more than one major security incident each year, according to Symantec's research. "Think about the impact these breaches could have - damage to reputation, loss of revenue and loss of customer, partner and even shareholder trust," he said.