Security Market Segment LS
Sunday, 10 January 2016 17:06

Demystifying security at the board level


There is an old advertisement – from Comet Freight – ‘Booking a courier is so easy a managing director can do it.’ No so with security.

I spoke at length with Ian McAdam, Symantec’s new Managing Director in the Pacific – encompassing Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. He came from Oracle (4 years) where most recently he was the Vice President of Applications for Australia and New Zealand. Prior to this, he was the General Manager of Government, Education and Health for Applications at Oracle.

McAdam, a former Australian swimmer at the Seoul Olympics has an infectious, go-get, enthusiastic attitude. “I have been here for about six months and I have spent some of that time getting up to speed on Symantec’s security offerings. I have also taken that new security ‘understanding’ to the ‘board level’ of some major companies trying to demystify it – sometimes the gap between IT staff and C-Level is too great,” he said.

Symantec recently amicably divorced its information management partner Veritas and has since been laser focused on security – it is easy to say ‘since’ but in reality it has been the company’s main focus for some time.

“I could tell you about Symantec’s 175 million global endpoints, the largest in the world. I could tell you about our investment in global Security Operation Centres and Incident Response Services , and I could say that we probably have the most comprehensive enterprise security solution. The reality is that most still know us by our consumer product, Norton,” he said.

“Symantec is a sleeping giant – in a corporate sense – and we need to get that word out there,” he added.

We spoke of his first ‘100’ days (a term often used to describe the change management when a new MD comes in).

“The back office, accounting, technical skills, systems, and people (320 in ANZ) were all in place and the Veritas split was well planned. I have already mentioned that I wanted to see how C-Level’s saw both the topics of security and of course Symantec,” he said.

“What I hear from local businesses is that security professionals can no longer rely on using individual products at each control point to stop advanced threats. The process of uncovering threat data across endpoint, network and email gateways is manual and time-consuming – that gives attackers an edge. To help companies overcome this challenge, we have introduced the Symantec Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) solution which can remediate advanced threats across all control points, from a single console with just a click, all with no new endpoint agents to deploy.”

“Another key issue for me was to look at our channel partners (we mostly sell via them) and to see how we can best educate them, and get them to give off a ‘positive vibe’ where Symantec solutions were concerned. The Symantec Partners conference is a large part of that – but it’s the commitment to Symantec’s enterprise suite that is the key,” he said.

Partners play a critical role for the Symantec business, especially now that Symantec is 100 percent focused on security. Symantec recently launched its Secure One partner program which offers partners the ability to unlock higher earning potential through simplified competency and certification requirements, while including a more predictable, profitable Growth Accelerator Rebate. Included under the new Secure One umbrella is also a new Distributor program, which is designed to support and accelerate partner growth.

“The enhanced channel partner program is designed to help security-focused partners grow their businesses. It provides our partners with a clear path to take advantage of the innovation and growth we expect to drive as the world’s largest cyber security company.”

“We also need to make more people aware of the changing nature of endpoints – BYOD, mobile, work anytime and anywhere. That is where I see us directing awareness efforts in the next 12-18 months,” he said. “Our acquisition of Blackfin Security will help us sell via education, security simulation, and training – one customer at a time.”

“With our scale and our assets, Symantec has a chance to change the game for cyber security. It’s our mission and our opportunity to deliver unified security that gets me excited to come to work every day and lead Symantec in Pacific.”

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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