Norton Internet Security 2010 contains a new component known as Quorum designed to weed out malware by analysing an application for attributes such as age, source and behaviour.
The factors are then analysed and used to build a 'reputation' attribute that allows Norton to track and isolate malicious software.
Quorum will also use a cloud-based network to track malware, and allow systems to share malware data and deploy protection measures at a faster rate, the firm said.
Symantec hopes to move beyond a signature-based model to web-based security services in the face of a rising tide of new malware samples that makes constant signature updates nearly impossible.
Symantec is also among the vendors looking to improve security software and overall system performance by lowering installation size and memory footprint. The company said that the new software installs in roughly one minute, and uses just 10MB of system memory when operational.