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Symantec Analyst Relations
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D Thomson | 12 Feb 2014 | 0 comments

It’s still early days for the Internet of Things (IoT). While some are suggesting a complete revolution in 'smart' physical objects which will change our lives, I don’t think anyone will notice that much of a difference in the short term. Even so, over the next couple of years we will see all kinds of new devices connect to the internet, from plug sockets to plant pot monitors.

Each becomes not just a data source but also, potentially, a controllable device - and as such has a potential security impact. For a start, smart devices inevitably create data, which may need to be protected depending on the risks that surround it. Risk factors may not always be obvious - for example, burglars might be able to hack into a lighting control system to determine if a building is empty, before breaking and entering.

Speaking of which, we have the fact that smart devices are, in fact, tiny computers which can be hacked, corrupted or otherwise abused. We’ve...

Straners | 28 Jan 2014 | 0 comments

While I am generally upbeat about the latest developments in technology, it's also my job to be cynical. Symantec’s customers depend on a certain level of realism, so I don’t feel too bad about pointing out some of the downsides and risks. 

When it comes to software-defined networking, storage and so on - in a nutshell, the ability to orchestrate and control a widening variety of hardware devices and resources - most potential issues boil down to a single question - can software be trusted?

The answer, as Douglas Adams might say, is “mostly harmless”. While software starts simple, it can often become highly complex and, therefore, very difficult to test. Software designed for enterprise-scale use cases inevitably tends to the complex, which is where the problems start. 

If damage does happen, it can do so in a big way. Some organisations may have experienced the avalanche effect that can take place if a poorly constructed patch is rolled...

Kari Ann | 23 Jan 2014 | 1 comment

Over the past couple of years, we have seen social engineering attacks graduate from email to that increasingly prevalent form of communication - social media. By ‘social engineering’ we’re talking about online confidence tricks - anything that can dupe the reader into acting, clicking on a link, giving up personal details or otherwise falling for whatever scam is on offer. 

Through education and experience, we are learning to ignore ‘phishing’ emails pretending to be from our banks and internet service providers. While the rate is up (1 in 414 emails are a phishing attack, Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 18), the number of incidences of breaches is not as high as it was. 

People are increasingly falling for similar forms of attack which take advantage of social media, however. The problem with social sites...

Symantec Analyst Relations | 23 Jan 2014 | 0 comments

This Blog was originally posted in Security Response.

Could your baby monitor be used to spy on you? Is your television keeping tabs on your viewing habits? Is it possible for your car to be hacked by malicious attackers? Or could a perfectly innocent looking device like a set-top box or Internet router be used as the gateway to gain access to your home computer?

A growing number of devices are becoming the focus of security threats as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes a reality. What is the Internet of Things? Essentially, we are moving into an era when it isn’t just computers that are connected to the Internet. Household appliances, security systems, home heating and lighting, and even cars are all becoming Internet-enabled. The grand vision is of a world where almost anything can be connected—hence the Internet of Things.

Exciting new developments are in the offing. A...

Symantec Analyst Relations | 22 Jan 2014 | 0 comments

As fans of Formula 1 eagerly await the new season, big changes are coming that will have a major impact on the sport. It’s something that Lotus F1 Team readily acknowledges will be a huge challenge. But they will be ready to take on whatever comes their way, they insist, just as their long-term partner Symantec is also embracing transformation throughout its business.

In fact, Lotus F1 Team sees itself and Symantec as being on something of a parallel journey, as they manage their rapidly altering business landscapes – very different, it might seem, yet driven by a common purpose: to be the best at what they do.

It is Symantec’s ability to achieve that goal, time and again, that has made Lotus F1 Team such a committed consumer and champion of its solutions. But first, back to those big changes in Formula 1. “For next season, the amount of fuel that can be used in a race is limited to 100kg, so none of the cars will have enough to finish the race,” Michael Taylor  ...

James Hanlon | 17 Jan 2014 | 0 comments

FireEye’s recent acquisition of incident response and forensics specialist Mandiant for around $1 billion has been a real high profile eye catcher. The move greatly broadens the FireEye product and services portfolio, of course, although the cost of the acquisition has sparked a few mutterings of ‘overpriced’ amongst the analyst community. That said, several analysts cited Mandiant’s service revenues as a great addition to FireEye and it’s hard to argue with that.

Certainly, Mandiant is a good complement for FireEye, strengthening its security intelligence capability and increasing its detection capability at the endpoint (albeit not its endpoint protection capability), while also providing FireEye with a services arm.

Possible issues? Perhaps around efficient integration & synergies between the two technology platforms, although the two companies have held a relationship since 2012. What is possibly more of concern is the differences between the companies in...

D Thomson | 14 Jan 2014 | 0 comments

Having conducted my entire career in the world of information technology, I (like the majority of my peers) am very used to and inspired by questions that begin with “could we..?”. The technology arena exists, is focused on and is inspired by the art of the possible. We never cease to amaze ourselves with what can be achieved over time as the principles of Moore’s Law deliver us more and more computing power and our imaginations are left to run riot.

30 years ago we marveled at the ability to hand-off complex business process to ERP systems, 20 years ago the internet took hold and we marveled at the prospect of accessing more information than was ever thought possible and 5 years ago the world of mobile communications got “smart” and manufacturers started to deliver powerful computing to the palm of our hands...

Now the “Internet of Things” has appeared and the prospect of “connecting everything” has us IT-types “Imagineering” again (love that word! – thanks Disney)....

Straners | 13 Jan 2014 | 0 comments

As we are all aware, information is expanding at a staggering rate. World data in 2010 was estimated at 1.2 zetabytes, expected to rise to 7.9ZB in 2015 and, in 2020, to 40ZB, with something like 30 billion connected devices in the next few years. Against that backdrop, there is really no way we have either the time or bandwidth (cost) to shift these large lumps of data around. Yet, potentially, they have enormous value to people who want to access them.

In this world of ‘Bigger Data’ – and what is rapidly becoming ‘Even Bigger Data’ – this presents a massive challenge for all of us: how do we supply Data as a Service, while still maintaining control?

Because the reality is that, in these data-driven times, everyone is going to have to consider themselves as a consumer and a provider of Data as a Service, and deal with all of the consequences this brings into play.

In the new world of mega-data, information that would once have been considered beyond...

Giampiero Nanni | 07 Jan 2014 | 0 comments

Smart cities are on the increase worldwide and, especially within Europe, there are many such initiatives being stimulated by the EC and national governments. Local administrators and policy makers are under great pressure to make their cities increasingly competitive, in order to attract businesses, talent and taxpayers – and to comply with sustainable policies, greenhouse gas emission targets and carbon footprint guidelines.

What will they look like? In the main, smart city deployments will be multi-faceted, carried out by a diverse ecosystem of providers in innovative domains, involving state-of-the-art technology, including critical and complex ICT implementations. These deployments can address different components and city systems, such as Intelligent Transportation, Connected Healthcare, Public Safety and Security, Emergency Services, Smart Grid and Smart Metering, Intelligent Buildings, etc.

At the same time, increasing ICT complexity, hyper-connectivity,...

D Thomson | 06 Jan 2014 | 0 comments

Identity management was never easy. The basic need for identity is that of ‘non-repudiation’ - assurance that a person is who they say they are - as used to authenticate and authorise individuals to use IT resources, or enable access to web sites and services.

Things such as a login names, pins and passwords are examples of mechanisms that allow us to establish digital ‘identity’ today. For computer users and system managers, the difficulty has always been keeping tabs on all the different login details, number-generating dongles, and swipe cards and so on. The domain of "identity management" (the umbrella term for tools that help manage multiple identities, across multiple systems) is focused on helping with these issues. 

So far so good, but I’m wondering if these ideas are thrown out f the window by the current trend - the Internet of Things (IoT), which enables a wide variety of devices and physical objects to connect to the Internet. 

For...