Feeds

'Overplayed' privacy concerns rile Symantec boss

'IP addresses are so not private'

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Follow the money

The Symantec boss made these comments during an interview at the Symantec Vision and ManageFusion EMEA conference in The Hague on Tuesday. Questions by journalists following Thompson's keynote presentation focused on the crisis in the financial markets and the impact it might have on IT spending in areas such as security that Symantec competes in.

"No company is immune if customers have tough times. But security technology is not something that you can just defer. Even in tough times firms don't stop caring about resiliency and recovery. They don't stop caring about about confidential data within their corporate networks."

"The depth and breath of our portfolio allows us to weather the economic storm as well as anyone if not better than most," Thompson argued, adding that regulatory pressure would deter organisations in financial service or health care from taking shortcuts on security spending. "These are highly regulated industries. They may delay new projects but they won't ignore their responsibility to manage sensitive information."

Changes in cybercrime also came up during the session. Malware-based information security threats have changed so that 70 per cent of malware samples are primarily designed to steal confidential and sensitive information. In 2003, Symantec wrote signatures for five different malware samples a day compared to the 10,000 a day it now processes.

"The security model has changed. We are moving towards that is risk based and information-centric instead of looking at device and networks. That makes data classification [assigning more importance to company financial reports than routine office memos, for example] much more critical," he added.

Largely in response to the sheer volume of malware currently been released, many of Symantec's competitors have talked up the benefits of a cloud-based computing approach. Trend Micro, McAfee, and Panda Security have all announced moves in this direction over recent months. Symantec is taking a more conservative approach, positioning security as a service as primarily of interest to smaller businesses or as an option for larger businesses. Other in the anti-virus industry, by contrast, talk about cloud computing as a historic shift in architecture.

Symantec does plan to roll out an online disaster recovery and backup service, currently available only in the US, worldwide by March 2009.

Thompson went on to downplay the significance of mobile malware, at least for the short term, in marked contrast to some of Symantec's competitors including McAfee and F-secure. "Mobile malware is still something that looms in the future rather than a problem now," he said. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
SMASH the Bash bug! Red Hat, Apple scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Desperate VXers enslave FREEZERS in DDoS bot
Updated Spike malware targets Asia
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.