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Symantec Analyst Relations
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Symantec Analyst Relations | 16 Jan 2013 | 0 comments

In December’s Symantec Intelligence Report we take a closer look at our worldwide stats on the threat landscape. For the month of December, the United States claimed the dubious honor of being the largest source of spam at 12.7%, phishing scams at 24.2%, and virus attachments at 40.9% globally. It’s not unusual for the US to top one or two of these three categories, though claiming the triple crown of risk-based distribution is a little less common.

In other country news, Norway has jumped up to become the most targeted country for phishing attacks, as we’ve determined that 1 in 81.4 emails in the country were phishing attempts in December. Norway also came in second biggest source country, distributing 20.2% of all worldwide phishing attacks. The reasons why one country would jump like this are often varied, but likely due to a concerted phishing campaign by attackers. We’re keeping an eye on...

Gerry Egan | 14 Jan 2013 | 0 comments

Microsoft’s latest desktop operating system release has been applauded as the most secure Windows ever – incorporating features including anti-malware out of the box, boot protection against rootkits and support for self-encrypting drives. So, does this mean we no longer need to think about Windows desktop security?

That the answer is (of course) “no” should not be taken as a comment on the strides Microsoft has made. Rather, it is more an indicator of where the boundaries now lie. To state the most obvious point first, no operating system can ever be 100% secure – indeed, security company Vupen claims to already have done just that.  

Even if an operating system proves resistant to attack, the bad guys know that the weakest link is the ‘human layer’ – that is to say, the people...

Sian John | 10 Jan 2013 | 0 comments

Yes, it’s that time of the year again, when industry analysts and commentators make their predictions about IT in general, and security in particular. We can expect all the usual – the main industry trends such as cloud and mobile will of course be in the bag, as well as potential recurrences of major security breaches – user data leaks from online sites, defacement or denial of service attacks on high-profile web sites and so on.

While it’s the same every year, this period is also a good moment to reflect on the security landscape and how well prepared we are for the year to come. While all of the above are symptoms, security breaches tend to be caused by people so a good starting point is to get into the heads of the perpetrators – the mad, bad and sad individuals that cause our organisations so much grief.

So, why do...

Jon C | 20 Dec 2012 | 1 comment

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is between a rock and several hard places. Long-castigated for being a soft touch, over the past year it has been increasingly visible in terms of the fines it imposes. These range from individual confidentiality breaches to the large-scale spamming via text with fines commensurate with the scale of the breach.

While nobody would doubt the need for regulation - and enforcement - in matters of data protection, the process followed has come under scrutiny, particularly around reporting of breaches. A recent Computer Weekly article...

Sian John | 19 Dec 2012 | 0 comments

Do email and messaging security still matter, against the current background of social networks, consumerisation, mobile and bring-your-own-device? The answer, according to a recent report from two industry groups, is a resounding yes. However, given this rapidly changing technology landscape, the way that it matters has changed – so our behaviour needs to change accordingly, both at an individual and an organisational level.
The cross-vendor Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG) collaborated with anti-spam organisation the London Action Plan (LAP), to produce the report. Among the contributors was our very own Eric Chien, Technical Director of the...

D Thomson | 18 Dec 2012 | 0 comments

How much value can be placed on trust in business? "It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it," said Benjamin Franklin, and indeed companies go to huge lengths to build and maintain trust relationships with both their customers and the wider market.

The simple reason for such effort is that a trustworthy business is a profitable business. We don't need to read the management textbooks to get this – people buy from people they believe can deliver. It’s why we set so much store by personal recommendation and, should things go wrong, we may avoid buying from the same place again.

Projecting an image of reliability is good for the bottom line - backed up, of course, by actually being reliable. Both products and services should meet or exceed expectations, and customers should not have any surprises about how the organisation behaves...

Symantec Analyst Relations | 13 Dec 2012 | 0 comments

It seems that everywhere you turn this year, there’s news of another data breach. Sometimes it’s a laptop stolen, other times it’s hackers compromising a database. No matter how they occur, each breach leads to someone’s identity being exposed. Whether or not this exposure leads to identity theft, there’s no doubt that the risk involved, and the frequency that these breaches are occurring makes data breaches one of the top security issues of 2012. Read more


Symantec Intelligence Report: November 2012 - A look at identities lost in data breaches; Holiday spam

The November edition of the Symantec Intelligence report provides the latest analysis of cyber security threats, trends, and insights from the Symantec Intelligence team concerning malware, spam, and other potentially harmful business risks. The...

GregDay-SecurityCTO | 10 Dec 2012 | 0 comments

IT Security is, at its core, just another kind of risk management. The principles are straightforward to explain – identify the risks, their probability and impact, then work out suitable mitigation strategies to reduce one or the other. 

So, how hard can it be to 'deliver' IT security - that is, to make an organisation's IT environment secure? Very hard, is the answer, when we consider just how far technology has come since such principles were first documented. The main challenge can be to identify the risks in the first place, against a background of constant evolution and sudden change.

And it's not going to get any easier given that threats come from an increasing variety of places. Let's summarise - mobile devices and networks; cloud-based applications, services and infrastructure; social networks and online collaboration tools; email and documents; virtualised...

Symantec Analyst Relations | 28 Nov 2012 | 0 comments

by John Brigden, SVP EMEA

This blog was originally posted in Information Unleashed.

Imagine half the value of your business being buried out of sight; or that value residing on the devices your employees took home at night, possibly to be lost or damaged. It’s a sobering thought—and one that’s all too real in today’s digital world.

According to the Symantec 2012 State of Information Report, almost half (46 percent) of an organisation’s information is being stored outside of its own data centre on devices beyond the corporate firewall. That could be anything from confidential customer information and sales opportunities, to crucial emails and financial reports. This ‘information sprawl’ is like setting a match to your business.

In the report, information sprawl was identified as the culprit in more than one-...

Symantec Analyst Relations | 16 Nov 2012 | 0 comments

This blog was originally posted in Symantec Intelligence

from Paul Wood, Cyber Security Intelligence Manager

In this month’s report we investigate a new social networking avenue that scammers are attempting to leverage: Instagram. They’re doing so in order to gather personal details and persuade users to sign up for premium-rate mobile services, among other things, generally by creating fake accounts:

The scams take on a number of forms, from spam comments, to fake followers, to liking photos in the hopes people will check out their profiles, which in turn often contain more spam links.

We’ve also noticed a significant drop in email spam volumes this month. The global spam rate has dropped by more than 10%, from 75% of email traffic in...