Symantec Vision 2011 Sydney in pictures

  • Maintaining information security can be stressful. A significant data breach costs Australian companies around $2 million on average, though Symantec's figures have been questioned. One thing's for sure, though: the risk of picking up malware via web browsing is growing fast.

  • Craig Scroggie, Symantec's vice president and managing director for the Pacific region, is overshadowed by one of the big security issues in enterprises today: the rise of BYO mobile devices and the blurring of the boundaries between business and personal usa. If companies don't supply smartphones, tablets and Wi-Fi access, employees will just do it themselves -- with obvious security risks.

  • Smartphone and tablet users are facing more phishing attacks designed to grab access to financial transactions. Phishing emails related to current news events, like the assassination of Osama bin Laden, appear within minutes.

  • Social media conversations by a company's employees could well become "documents" for the purposes of litigation. Documents in the cloud certainly are. Clearwell Systems, since July part of Symantec's Information Management Group, specialises in electronic document discovery. They reckon that when it comes to eDiscovery, social media is now at a tipping point.

  • Cloud. There. We've said it. And here's a picture. But despite the hype, there are real security issues in the cloud, and things for lawyers to worry about like data sovereignty.

  • When it comes to taking responsibility for data, your company isn't the only stakeholder. Organisations need to understand that they have an obligation to protect and secure user information and, when something goes wrong, to disclose to customers and regulators what's been disclosed and how they can mitigate the damage.

    Symantec's Craig Scroggie supports moves to create data breach disclosure laws in Australia, where there's still no legislative framework despite the Privacy Minister's recent call for a statutory right to privacy.

  • As more business moves to the cloud, data centre energy costs will continue to rise -- and they're already a major cost. Australia's carbon tax legislation introduced yesterday makes energy efficiency even more important. Is this security? Yes. In a time of rising prices, think "energy security".

  • If your employees are a blank to you, you could be in trouble. Security applications often use heuristics to monitor for unexpected software behaviour, but employees should also be monitored for abnormal behaviour -- like not taking holidays.

    Rogue trader Nick Leeson was a surprise speaker at Symantec Vision, but his fraud at Barings Bank was dwarfed more recently by Jérôme Kerviel, whose employer Société Générale ended up losing €4.9 billion. Kerviel didn’t take holidays as he needed to continuously cover up his fraudulent transactions.

  • Symantec Corporation dominates the security landscape, literally and figuratively. For now. The world's largest manufacturer of security software has revenues of nearly US$6 billion, two-thirds of it from enterprise customers. But they've been shedding market share in small and medium businesses (SMBs), and growth and share price have been flat.

    Events like the Symantec Vision conference in Sydney yesterday are vital part of the company's strategy for maintaining mindshare. An estimated 1000 people were briefed on Symantec's infosec worldview.

  • Exhibitor NextDC's new data centres in Victoria, to be opened later this year, will use gas powered trigeneration -- combined cooling, heat and power systems. Electricity contracts can only be negotiated yearly, but NextDC can lock in a gas contract for five years. And they reckon it can cut CO2 emissions by up to 70%.

  • Smartphones go missing, like the 2100 lost mobiles auctioned by NSW RailCorp last weekend. Matt Blunden from Pickles Auctions says there were around 30 lost laptops as well. Symantec Vision exhibitor Intel told CSO Online that if these laptops were protected by Intel Anti-Theft technology in conjunction with Symantec's management software these laptops would be disabled as soon as their new owner accessed the internet.

  • Symantec’s Norton Mobile Security app competes with similar apps from vendors such as Lookout, AVG, McAfee and BitDefender. It's a crowded marketplace. And Android's market share is now neck and neck with the iPhone in Australia.

  • LulzSec's pranks may have grabbed media attention, but Symantec joins the growing number of infosec specialists who see political and economic hacking as a key emerging threat. If Stuxnet did such clear damage to Iran's uranium processing, what's next?
  • Security isn't about about hardware and software. Environmental context is king. If you're at a public event, the bad guys won't have any trouble reading your mobile device interactions with an SLR camera and telephoto lens -- reading your email and even recording the passwords you enter.

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