Symantec CEO and global chairman John Thompson is currently in Australia to discuss the need for government collaboration with the private sector to secure cyberspace and to announce the launch of Symantec's new enterprise security management system.
At a media briefing in Sydney yesterday, Thompson discussed the increasing need for public policy regarding the protection of IT resources and the need for the exchange of information between the private and public sectors in order to effectively protect mission-critical data networks from "cyber terrorism".
"If you look at the infrastructure most countries have deployed to protect their electricity, telecommunications and water utilities, these resources are usually owned partly by the private sector and the public sector, or by a quasi-public sector. They can only be protected by the two sectors working together. The same can be said for the cyber world. Since the private sector has so much to do with it, they should advise government on relevant security issues."
Thompson said that it will take a catastrophic event to force regulatory actions by governments regarding cyber security. With respect to such an event occurring, Thompson said: "It's not a case of if, but when it will occur."
"Fundamental public policy issues such as education, awareness, research and skills development must be addressed as these are at the core of protecting public and private infrastructure.
Thompson said that the exchange of information between the public and private sectors must occur globally for it to be most effective.
"Critical cyber threats don't just emerge in one country or another, so to effectively deal with them we need to be able to communicate with someone in authority in every country. We need a number of cyber tsars who are charged with exchanging essential information with other nations' cyber tsars."
Thompson said he is convinced that eventually one or two major players will dominate the security sector. "It happened in systems management, ERP, CRM and office desktops. When it all became too complex and when users had too many point products to manage, they turned to one or two companies who could pull everything together. We're better positioned than most to take on that role."
At the media briefing, Symantec announced the launch of its new large enterprise security solution, the Symantec Security Management System. Now available in Australia, the management system is a set of tools that provide centralised and open information security management.
Symantec collaborated with Check Point, Internet Security Systems and Network Associates to develop the management system, which essentially identifies, consolidates and correlates security events from multiple products and security technologies. It also identifies and resolves policy non-compliance issues and eliminates vulnerabilities, the company said.