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Understanding a business is crucial to protecting it, Symantec security boss says

Chris Player | June 22, 2015
Security firm outlines strategy in the face of new threat landscape.

"That's why we are seeing a move from purchasing the standard protection to technology that aligns more to the detection and response mentality.

Sparks emphasised the importance of partnerships to protecting organisations of all sizes.

"I don't think any government or organisation can do it all. So everyone needs to partner or to have organisations to assist them, bring in expertise in some areas and then focus on other areas they are better equipped to deal with," he said.

"That's generally how organisations are working these days. Get someone to out-task what is difficult for them to do internally and then build up what is really important to them to have, that changes depending on the type of business.

"For some businesses it may be the forensic side that's more important because that's the business model, while for others, keeping the lights on is the most important so it is more about quick remediation and incident response. It's up to us to figure out how we can work with those companies."

Sparks went on to say that increased security did not necessarily mean decreased agility anymore.

"It is not the case anymore. Some of the most secure organisations are also the most flexible," he said.

"There are different ways of doing security. There is the government or compliance based security where you have to meet standards and make sure all the boxes are ticked. Then there is that other type of organisation that has more ability to spend more on response capability and detection capabilities so then a hole opens up when they are able to respond to them more quickly than the traditional model."

Sparks said he did not believe there would be one approach to security that would become dominant over others.

"There will be horses for courses. Governments will still need to have a much more compliance-based approach and other organisations, such as gaming companies, need a more agile model and so the security aspects change," he said.

"It is all about what controls you can put in depending on what model you have. Sometimes it is more industry specific as well.

"There is room for both approaches, in the security industry, we have always tried to have one approach that suits everyone. That is not the case anymore, the security now has to be layered on top of the business."

Sparks identified health as an area for growth in the security space, particularly in Australia and New Zealand.

"Health is a really surprising one, I think that is certainly going to be a driver. In this region it has been a bit more backward, the reason is that it is more a public institution space compared to the US and other regions where it is controlled by private organisations," he said.


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