Symantec Vision 2012 – The Information-Driven World is Rapidly Changing

by Toby Martin

Having just returned from the Symantec Vision Show in Las Vegas, I wanted to share some commentary that I gathered while at the event. As the threat landscape evolves and end-users are rapidly adopting new technologies, Vision 2012 provided some insights about where things are headed:

 

  • The partnership between Symantec and VMware was spoken of often, and fondly, by the Symantec team, their partners, and end users who are intrigued to see where this is going. Reaching into the Hypervisor from within the Symantec Suite definitely opens up many possibilities and should make this very interesting to watch as it evolves.

 

  • According to Forrester, expect 200 Million mobile devices in corporate environments by 2016, and the growth will be even faster in the amount of data housed. Cross-platform support has won over most of the major players and is especially strong for iOS. Several apps and versions coming this year are supporting iOS first, before Android or Windows mobile. Of the multiple demos I got to see − mostly on Apple devices − I found the separation of application access from data the most interesting. This is being done with forced authentication and inter-application security policies blocking sharing of data amongst un-secured devices. 

 

  •  Another common theme was persistent vs. non-persistent environments, and all that they entail. It appears that demand for persistent environments is increasing as a result of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). The Generation X & Y users don’t even look for security policies, they just bring in their devices and hook them up, so you’d best secure the data because it’s already too late to secure the devices.

 

  •  The ‘Cloud’ was pervasive with many thought leadership and cloud sessions positing that in 2-3 years there won’t be sessions on the cloud, but instead it will be everywhere in nearly all the sessions. The mindset is changing from ‘security and compliance tools FROM the cloud, to security and compliance tools FOR the cloud.’ Much of the discussion about the cloud centered on the emerging threat landscape and the fact that attacks done with applications are not only targeting enterprise or government. As a result, endpoint protection on virtual desktops is increasing in importance to abate the ever-growing risk.

 

  •  Symantec recognized that they have several portals and they committed to working on unifying them, which is good news for users. While they do provide a means of interacting through APIs and the like, it is still incumbent upon the end user to get this to work. Some developments are:

-   Nukona acquisition (2Q11) will be moving in the direction of single-sign on for application access

-   Regardless of the device on which the user logs in, persistent security settings will follow, thereby achieving the dream of managing BYOD from anywhere, anytime

 

So to sum up, the pervasiveness of the cloud and associated services required to secure delivery via the cloud and via mobile devices was top of mind and topic and is the direction we will see Symantec continue to invest.

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