Senior Security Expert, Symantec Sweden
Work at Symantec
How long have you been working for Symantec and how did you join?
Per Hellqvist has been working for Symantec Nordics in Stockholm as Senior Security Expert since 2001 and the region’s primary spokesperson on ‘everything security’. Today Per (pronounced "pear" like the fruit) is considered one of the leading experts in the Nordics when it comes to security technology and trends, and appears regularly in all media, including TV and radio broadcasts. Per’s responsibilities are closely integrated with those of the Nordic PR department, which on an almost daily basis use him for interviews with local media.
What gives you the most satisfaction in your job?
Since Per joined Symantec Sweden some six years ago now, he has established a great relationship with journalists. The coverage in Sweden alone went up by a whopping 300% only in his first 2 months with Symantec, and this level of performance has been maintained in the region ever since. An impressive result that would never have been possible without Per’s help in putting Symantec on the Swedish media map.
What is your most memorable experience with Symantec?
During his career with Symantec Per has experienced plenty of incidents worthy of telling, but one that sticks out was a PR scare with capital “S”, fortunately with a happy ending.
“I was just leaving a seminar when I got a call from a local journalist who asked me to comment on the fact that the Norton.se site just had been hacked. My first reaction (after scraping my jaw off the ground…) was that it was joke, but at the same time it was difficult to go on the record and deny something that a serious journalist claimed to be looking straight at as we were talking on the phone”, says Per.
In retrospective it may have been better that Per wasn’t actually able to see the Norton.se page, which at this moment in time resembled a movie poster from the famous “Scream” horror movie trilogy with the word “HACKED” written in blood red letters; a view that would’ve scared the living daylights out of any website visitor, never mind PR professional.
To cut a long story short; it turned out that one of the world’s leading IT brands has a slightly less famous namesake in the industrial grinding machine business.
“I’m the first one to admit that I felt a little silly when realizing that the Norton.se URL is in fact not owned by Symantec, but by one of the world’s leading grinding machine companies”, says Per.
“Though once the penny dropped, shear panic was soon replaced by amusement over the fact that someone most likely hijacked the wrong website. I did however feel a little sorry for innocent grinding machine shoppers greeted by howling monster masks more suitable on a Halloween costume party website. Not good for business…”
All’s well that ends well. However, if ever faced with a situation like this, Per Hellqvist would without doubt have been able to handle that ghost.