We enable our customers to implement any changes to their storage infrastructure – AnandNaik, Managing Director – Sales, India & SAARC, Symantec

AnandNaik, Managing Director – Sales, India & SAARC, Symantec
AnandNaik, Managing Director – Sales, India & SAARC, Symantec

Vikas Gupta :- Detection of new security threats is a critical part of the overall security infrastructure. Tell us about the work that Symantec is doing in this area.

Mr Anand Naik :- Businesses need to get ahead of attacks and shift from reactive to proactive solutions. Symantec has one of the largest repositories of security data in the world. We provide visibility, intelligence and comprehensive proactive protection to combat targeted attacks. We analyze more than 1.7 trillion pieces of anonymous security data, from 100s of millions of users, to automatically derive a safety rating on 3.6 billion files and 10 million URLs and domains which fuels our proactive reputation-based solution.

In fact Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network(GIN) consists of 69 million attack sensors and records thousands of events per second.It monitors threat activity in more than 157 countries and territories through a combination of Symantec products and services and other third-party data sources. This network gives our analysts unparalleled sources of data from which to identify the trends in Internet security threats. The GIN along with a team of security experts monitor cyberspace 24X7 to detect threats in real-time and develop solutions for the same. Furthermore, we also issue alerts and warnings to our customers and the public at large through the media about current dangers and recommended defenses. We publish several threat reports such as the Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) and analysis to inform users and increase awareness about malicious threat activity and trends. Again through our live update technology we disseminate technology updates to our customers to ensure they are protected from the latest threats.

The intelligence from the GIN is leveraged by our Security Response Lab and Security Operations Centers (SOC) located across the world.  In India, the Security Response Lab is located in Pune and the SOC in Chennai.

•             Symantec’s Security Technology and Response (STAR) division, which includes Security Response, is a global team of security engineers, virus hunters, threat analysts, and researchers that provides the underlying security technology, content, and support for all Symantec corporate and consumer security products. The Security Response organization develops and deploys new security content (malware fingerprints, reputation data, behavioral rules, new heuristics, etc.) to Symantec’s tens of millions of customers, around-the-clock.

•             Symantec’s Security Operations Centers use a combination of people, processes, technology and intelligence to deliver outsourced 24x7x365 security monitoring, device management, security intelligence, vulnerability management services and custom analysis for targeted attacks to effectively handle the security challenges faced by customers today.  In a nutshell, enterprises hire us to monitor their network security.

Vikas Gupta :- Apart from security, Symantec has been pushing storage, cloud and DR. How have you fared in these technology domains?

Mr Anand Naik :- Despite widespread discussion on the cloud, with over 90 percent Indian organizations exploring the same, there are some hidden costs and risks attached, according to Symantec’s ‘Avoiding the Hidden Costs of Cloud 2013’ Survey. Even as individuals and organizations realize the potential agility and cost savings benefits of cloud computing, concerns about security and availability of clouds persist. Organizations can gain confidence in the cloud with Symantec, whether they want to consume services directly, build their own cloud for internal operations or external reach, or extend into third-party clouds safely and efficiently. In fact, some of the world’s biggest clouds either rely on Symantec or are delivered by Symantec. Our cloud strategy is across three elements: consume, build and extend.

We are helping our customers maximize their storage efficiency, availability and performance across operating systems, virtualization technologies, and storage hardware to build resilient private clouds. Our solutions also help companies in reducing storage costs with features such as deduplication, compression, thin provisioning, and storage tiering. We enable our customers to implement any changes to their storage infrastructure, including operating system or array migrations, without impacting application availability.

Another major focus of our business is helping organizations with their Disaster Recovery and business continuity efforts. Symantec business continuity solutions are platform agnostic. Together with software-based replication and market-leading backup and recovery technologies, we can help customers architect their business continuity solutions for mission-critical applications, services, and data across heterogeneous physical, virtual, and cloud environments.

Organizations today are increasing relying on technologies like mobility, cloud and virtualizationand areincreasingly concerned about how to secure and manage the increasing amounts of information.Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help its customers secure and manage their information against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently than any other company. Our company’s unique focus is to eliminate risks to information, technology and processes independent of the device, platform, interaction or location.

Vikas Gupta :- What is your outlook for the overall IT market? What are you channel plans for 2013?

Mr Anand Naik :- Technology is becoming more widely understood and accepted as a key business enabler, and trends such as cloud computing and mobility have become buzzwords. Organizations, particularly SMBs, are keen on exploring how new technology trends can add value to their business. To enable our partners to succeed in the dynamic landscape, Symantec has several initiatives and specializations to create quality enablement. Our partners complement our technology with their reach and knowledge of our technology. Symantec continues to focus on improving partners experience, their ability to be successful and differentiating their business with specialized solutions. We lay a lot of emphasis on high quality enablement that involves transfer of skills and knowledge to partners.

Since channel partners are the first touch point for many customers, our approach is to ensure that our partners have opportunities for predictable, profitable business growth; relevant market-leading solutions to secure and manage their customers’ information; skills and tools to deliver superior value to their customers. All of these will help partners differentiate their business while maximizing return on investment and accelerating their profits.

For instance we launched specializations for mobility and cloud so that partners can maximise opportunities in high growth areas. Similarly, we are making our solutions available in more form factors than ever before, such as cloud, traditional licensing and appliances and keep updating our portfolio based on the latest trends and threats in the marketplace.

Vikas Gupta :- How do you identify the government installations that need the kind of cutting edge security that Symantec is in a position to provide?

Mr Anand Naik :- As the world’s leader in management of information security, Symantec works with many governments around the world, including the Government of India, for developing systems that can lead to better online security.

We cover the entire spectrum of security solutions and are participating with the government and private companies to define the security requirements of critical infrastructure.From defining security policies and frameworks, to detecting looing threats and offering solutions to counter cyber threats – both emerging and advanced, Symantec has been working with Governments on building a secure cyber eco-system in the country.

We are engaging with various State Governments in India and arms of the Home Ministry and DEITY on solutions for State Wide Area Networks (SWAN) and new security solutions respectively.

Vikas Gupta :- How big is the problem of managing unstructured data within government enterprises?

Mr Anand Naik :- One of the biggest issues with managing unstructured data is that data is typically scattered on filers without divisional or owner organisation, so pulling detailed billing or reporting for divisions is difficult. In fact management of unstructured data is recognized as one of the major unsolved problems across all industries. Also, the IT team struggles with identifying old or irrelevant data, allocate storage to the appropriate business unit or department, and understand data usage and consumption trends.

This is because one size doesn’t fit all – technology that have proved successful in managing structured data and transforming it into business intelligence don’t work for unstructured data. Data explosion has a major impact on private and government depts. As well, making the need to select and implement the right technology to handle critical, semi and unstructured information imperative.

The digitizing of government databases due to acts like the Right to Information, roll out of numerous e-governance projects and initiatives like the UID are expected to create huge amounts of data in the government sector. Huge amounts of data involve systematic investment by various government departments towards storing the data as well as securing it.

Vikas Gupta :- What kind of evolution are you seeing in the adoption of virtualization?

Mr Anand Naik :- IT organizations started virtualizing servers to cut infrastructure costsand manage both servers and applications, easily. Benefits like lower capital and operating expenses, less downtime and faster delivery of applications from streamlined test and development processes were highlighted. These early successes raised the level of priority that organizations gave to virtualizing their infrastructure and applications. While virtualization is being adopted across sectors in India, we see significant traction among organizations in the IT/ITeS sector where scalability requirements are high.  In addition, sectors that are proactive in technology adoption such as BFSI, telecom, government and media have potential to move to the next level of virtualization.

Organizations are now looking at solutions that are cost effective and yet efficiently protect the virtual infrastructures and ensure that the data, applications, and systems are retrievable easily. Virtualization also presents viable opportunities to enable cloud services, increase the speed at which resources can be provisioned and eventually evolve with software-defined data centers (SDDC), leveraging its full capabilities.

It is a myth that virtualization is limited to large enterprises. SMBs are also making huge savings on the cost of servers and their maintenance which in turn implies savings on IT staff time. Among SMBs, disaster preparedness and the need to reduce downtime is also an important factor driving these organizations to virtualize. In fact, the latest Symantec SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey in India found that 45 per cent of respondents are implementing/already engaged in server virtualization, with 56 per cent saying that improvement in disaster preparedness was a driver in the decision and nearly seven in ten actually experienced these benefits.