Symantec calls on firms to complement security solutions with management

- Friday, February 25, 2011

Symantec calls on firms to complement security solutions with management

Latin American companies need to scrutinize their IT security policies as the adoption of new technologies such as cloud computing and virtualization take hold, US security firm Symantec's (Nasdaq: SYMC) Latin America VP, Wilson Grava, told BNamericas.

Instead of pondering additional security solution layers for cloud and virtualization, firms should channel more resources into flushing out the details of their IT security management plans, Grava argued.

"You could have the best technology in the world, but if you don't administer the technology and define policies, then any project could go to ruin," he said.

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Grava said virtualized desktops are no easier a target for hackers than normal desktops. Still, without the proper planning, an attack against a virtualized desktop could lead to more widespread damage.

"If a virtual machine gets infected, it could also inadvertently affect other machines," he added. "A physical machine could be affected by a virtual machine, and the other virtual machines within that physical machine could also be affected."

Within Latin America, it is still common to find medium-sized businesses with gaping holes in their security policies. "Back up strategies have to be very well thought out, and performance management has to be monitored. Companies need a different approach," he said.

BUSINESS TRENDS

As Symantec prepares to close the books on its current fiscal year, Brazil has retained the top spot as the company's primary growth driver in Latin America, according to Grava.

"The degree of foreign investment in the country, the preparation for the Olympic Games and World Cup and the discovery of oil fields have generated... a boom period that I have not seen in Brazil in more than 20 years," he said. "There is tremendous opportunity for companies like Symantec."

Within Brazil, the most significant advances have come in the SME segment.

"There have been a lot of competitive displacements," Grava said. "There is a lot of confusion due to Intel's acquisition of McAfee, and many companies are re-evaluating their security structure."

Symantec expects its overall Latin American operations to haul in double-digit revenue growth, but the executive was unable to provide further details.

Globally, Symantec's net profits dropped 56% year-over-year to US$132mn during the fiscal third quarter, ended December 31. Revenues during the same period crept up 4% to US$1.6bn.