Symantec Vision gave us a lot to think about, and we were fortunate to hear from Symantec leadership, who shared important insights about the current state of information security and the direction of the company moving forward. First, Symantec’s CEO Steve Bennett shared his experience over the past several months as the company has worked to redefine its focus on solving our customers’ problems and achieving organic growth. He reiterated that we are committed to intelligent, manageable changes that will revitalize Symantec, the partner community and the world of information protection.
We also heard from Francis deSouza, president of product and services at Symantec who delved into today’s three overarching IT challenges:
The Information Explosion
First, we are dealing with a tremendous explosion in the information we are creating and storing. Companies we recently surveyed expect their information to grow between 60 and 70 percent within the next 12 months, far more than we’ve seen in the past. He noted the example of a data center in Manhattan that was affected by Hurricane Sandy last fall. They had a tremendous amount of information they had to sort through, knowing they could only save a portion. They knew that only about 20 percent of the information was necessary, but they didn’t know how to find the portion that was critical for them.
The Evolving Threat Landscape
Next, Francis mentioned the quickly evolving threat landscape businesses face today. Cybercriminals are shifting their attacks to more vulnerable targets. That means attacking smaller businesses with fewer defenses, and using the information gained through those attacks to get their foot in the door of large businesses. The same tactic is holding true with the people being attacked, as well. It’s no longer necessary to only target executives. Other people in the company have plenty of information publicly available on the Internet, and the attackers are able to use that to craft sophisticated threats designed to compromise companies’ sensitive information. They are also carrying out diversionary attacks designed to focus IT resources in one area while stealing information from another part of the network.
Growing Data Center Complexity
The backdrop for these concerns is a data center environment that is in a constant state of flux. On the endpoint side, we’re dealing with an increasing number of mobile devices that need to be supported in addition to traditional desktops and laptops, with a variety of configurations and operating systems. They are taking more of IT’s attention, increasing the challenge of protecting information.
To combat these challenges, we have three goals here at Symantec. First, we want to help maintain user productivity. Second, that productivity has to coexist with security. And third, organizations need to effectively manage that information and keep it available to users.
To that end, we are organizing Symantec’s product portfolio around three central themes:
- We want to help companies be intelligent with the resources they have. This involves an awareness of outside factors such as the threat landscape. They also need the ability to effectively control factors within the organization, knowing what and where their most important information is. We also want to help them understand user behavior, to determine risks and improve productivity.
- Second, we are committed to driving efficiency. Given the increase in information, this means simplifying wherever possible, eliminating duplicate and unnecessary information.
- Cross everything. We want our customers to be able to use whatever hardware they want while maximizing whatever technology platforms they need.
To make this happen, we are continuing to invest in our current offerings, making them as effective and simple as possible. Meanwhile, we are working on solving larger problems for our customers, developing new solutions to address changing needs. And an important part of this is partnering with other industry professionals to deliver the right solutions to customers.
For customers, the result will be a stronger information fabric in the data center, helping them understand what information they have that is truly critical for their business to function, eliminating redundancy. In addition, we are simplifying security by addressing the challenge of managing all the different solutions companies are investing in today. Our security as a service leverages our expertise by monitoring both Symantec and third-party security products in the environment, which we anticipate to be the best security model moving forward.
It has been an exciting week. For more detail we invite you to watch the keynote speeches in their entirety here.