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Symantec Analyst Relations
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msmart007 | 05 Jun 2014 | 0 comments

In a previous blog, I described a number of dilemmas around cybersecurity - notably how its presence as a board room topic sits uneasily with the IT department’s poor perception of security, which couples with an increasing realisation that cyber threats cannot be addressed with IT alone. Even as technology becomes intrinsic to business life in this, hyper-connected world, the bad guys are developing ever more targeted threats as we see in our recent Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR).

It’s not up to us security experts to rain on this parade or tell the businesses we advise they’re doing it all wrong - I doubt they would listen even if we did. Our enterprise customers tell us their businesses wouldn’t be where they were today without taking risks, be they financial, organisational or indeed...

Straners | 29 May 2014 | 0 comments

All too often, technology is subject to the law of unintended consequences - a great, positive example is SMS, which was originally planned as a tool for maintenance alerts. Less positive is the exploitation of the humble macro system in documents and spreadsheets, or the use of email for social engineering attacks. 

Designers of such features can say they weren’t supposed to be used like that, but the fact is that when a new innovation arrives, people will start taking it in unexpected directions. We’ve seen this most recently with mobile technologies yielding Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), the various benefits being tempered by consequences such as manageability and security. 

One of the more interesting parts of my job is asking what is coming next, and what the impacts - positive and negative - might be. A particular area of interest (and concern) is the Internet of Things (IoT), a term being used to describe what happens when...

fbunn | 21 May 2014 | 0 comments

An interesting finding from the Internet Security Threat Report we issued last month concerns companies with 1-2,500 employees - variously grouped as the Small to Medium Business (SMB) sector - who are seeing the largest increase in targeted attacks. These attacks have already increased by 91% year on year; in addition, whereas 50% were aimed at SMBs in 2012, by 2013 the number had increased to 61%.

The clear suggestion - confirmed by other research we have done - is that the creators of such attacks are becoming smarter in terms of understanding how to profit from targeted attacks. As a result they are focusing less on bigger enterprises and more on smaller and mid-size companies, which often have less security countermeasures in place. 

This begs the question - where are such organisations going to get help, and...

James Hanlon | 20 May 2014 | 0 comments

For enterprises, these are testing times in the extreme. Never have IT departments – and the businesses that they support – been more exposed than they are today.

IT departments are challenged at every turn – with pressure from business leaders asking “is the business safe from cyber attacks?”; rapidly evolving IT estate complexity, including mobile rollouts, new cloud deployments and emerging software-defined data centres. IT relies heavily on its security teams, who are left to deal with disconnected security architectures and struggle with underfunding, and often a lack of incident investigation resources to be able to deal effectively with the waves of security incidents.

The thing is that attackers know this and are constantly seeking to extend their reach into the very fabric of the IT operations. As a result, many organisations are left vulnerable and at risk.

And it’s the nature of the attacks that are causing most consternation. Today’s...

Mark Nutt | 19 May 2014 | 0 comments

They are young, bright, vibrant, talented and the task they have been handed is a daunting one: pitting their wits against an enemy that is growing rapidly in number, sophistication and daring -– an enemy that operates unseen in the dark areas of the Internet, from right across the globe. They are the formidable Cyber Threat Operations team put together by professional services firm PwC to take on the cyber criminals.

The dynamic of a ‘boots on the ground’ incident response team at PwC, under their leader Kris McConkey, 32, conjures up an exciting image of a crack squad, battling against the cyber underworld. The reality may often be more prosaic, but there’s no denying the significance of the task that these cyber crime fighters have taken on as they track down the perpetrators. These increasingly sophisticated and highly organised groups of assailants are now rapidly becoming a threat to businesses everywhere.

Kris’ team is part of a large and rapidly growing Cyber...

James Hanlon | 16 May 2014 | 0 comments

Cyber security incidents happen every day. They have become inseparable from our everyday business lives. Some you will be able to identify and deal with easily, with no significant damage. Others have the potential to severely disrupt and damage your operations.

However much we may wish there was a silver bullet that could target and eliminate such threats, it isn’t going to happen. The reality is that cyber threats and attacks are here to stay, growing in sophistication and frequency, with no one outside of, or safe from, their reach.

Rather than hoping an attacker might bypass your business (everyone is a potential target in this cyber-connected world), you need to have a Cyber Resilience Strategy firmly in place to protect you. That means identifying the important incidents, and ensuring the business remains effective and up and running throughout any attack. But what does ‘effective’ mean in this case? It means having deep visibility across an organisation into...

Kenneth Schneider | 02 May 2014 | 0 comments

We live in an emerging digital industrial economy… where cloud and mobility are driving demand to secure and manage a new flood of data…. where voice, video and the Internet of Things are transforming how we function… and where businesses are challenged to protect both their intellectual property and their customers’ information.

Information is the lifeblood of this economy and it is becoming ever more mobile. Information now flows from cloud platforms to mobile apps, and from enterprises’ data centers to their business partners in ever changing ecosystems.

And the information landscape just gets more complex, from both a compliance and security perspective, as companies go global and continue to move from ‘Information Here’ in glasshouse data centers to hyper-distributed ‘Information Everywhere’. The opportunity to leverage and analyze information is increasing quickly. But the challenge to protect that information is growing as well.

Information needs to be...

Paul Wood | 08 Apr 2014 | 0 comments

In security as in business, information is power. As we put together the latest edition of the Internet Security Threat Report, we wanted to do more than simply throw some figures out there. As a result, Volume 19 presents a comprehensive analysis of last year’s threats according to publicly available information and events within Symantec’s purview, as well as detailed guidance about what security professionals can do in response. 

At the top level of the report, the main finding was a rapid and significant increase in breaches leading to the exposure of individual identities - employee, customer and patient details. Overall a total of 552 million identities were exposed, across 253 significant security breaches. 

Just as significantly, many of these breaches took place in the final quarter of the year, suggesting that we are at the beginning of a slew of such attacks - one of the reasons we felt pressed to include detailed advice in...

msmart007 | 02 Apr 2014 | 1 comment

Microsoft’s decision to switch off all support for Windows XP, some dozen years after it first made its entrance, is a momentous one. Those who have doggedly stuck by this much loved operating system, failing to be enticed into the arms of Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, will receive no further free updates or security patches (as of April 8, 2014).  

Lots of software goes down the end-of-life path, of course, and disappears into the mists, to be replaced by the latest updates. But, to paraphrase a major retailer’s advertising slogan, ‘This is no ordinary software. This is XP software’ – an OS that, by latest calculations, is still run by something like a quarter to one-third of desktops globally. And waiting in the dark corners for the plug to be pulled have been the cyber criminals, ready to leap in and exploit the situation. In fact, they...

D Thomson | 28 Mar 2014 | 0 comments

I believe that the IT industry will, in the future, hold far more responsibility for radical changes to culture and society than ever before. The Internet of Things (IoT) will see humanity take a new foundation on which to build things (the Internet) and start to create architectures and services that fundamentally change the way we live our lives. Just in the past few weeks, I have spoken to entrepreneurs and large businesses that are seeding technological concepts that could, eventually, touch all of us in very meaningful and real ways. It is difficult (especially for a technologist like me) not to get excited about self-driving cars that learn from each other, connected homes that allow us to remotely monitor and control our personal spaces and smart meters that have a profound impact on a nations energy consumption. But, as I have discussed before, there are likely to be unintended consequences to all of these ideas that technologists (even the really clever ones) are likely to...