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Data Defenders Should Share Resources, Says Symantec Expert

Data Defenders Should Share Resources, Says Symantec Expert
By Adam Dickter

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A unified threat identification system will make enterprises' defenses stronger than the sum of their parts, Symantec's Stephen Trilling told the RSA Conference last week, by keeping a history of every connection and every executable file made from a particular machine, while also collecting data from cloud, remote and mobile systems.
 


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To protect proprietary information, he added, the system must be designed to meet global policy regulations with regard to privacy and data protection.

In one scenario, Trilling said, a computer from Company 1 connects to a particular FTP server. Later, after a targeted attack, a team discovers that same server was used in the attack. "The team can now go and mine Company 1's data to figure out what file was used in the attack, and to further figure out how did that file get in and, if it came from an e-mail domain that is suspicious, who else inside Company 1 also received e-mail from that domain?" Trilling explained. "We'll be able to connect the dots spanning industries or economic sectors."

No Silver Bullets

In an earlier address at the RSA Conference, Art Gilliland, senior vice president and general manager of Enterprise at Hewlett Packard, said his company's research of its clients showed that too many relied excessively on software and hardware to protect their systems, while skimping on safe practices by smart managers.

Rather than chase "silver bullets," he said companies must invest in a trifecta of "people, process and technology." Companies that did so saw 21 percent better returns on their investment and saved on average $4 million more than other companies.

Based on assessments of 96 companies globally, HP found that most spent 86 percent of their security budget trying to block threats at the infiltration stage. Meanwhile, personnel had a minimalistic "check box" approach toward security practices and policies.

"Almost a quarter of the people implementing this strategy failed to meet the minimum security standards they set for themselves," he said. "They are aspiring toward the low bar of compliance. And 30 percent failed to even meet compliance."

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