Symantec Vision: CEO Salem Sees Growth In Mobility, Cloud, Virtualization

From, the cloud, to mobility, to virtualization, the IT environment is undergoing a period of "profound change," inundated with out-of-control data while the workforce becomes more mobile, virtualized and cloud-focused, presenting new security threats and challenges that Symantec CEO Enrique says the company is prepared to meet.

"We hear the same things over and over again. This is a time of profound, meaningful change," Salem said Tuesday in a keynote address that kicked off the Vision 2011 Conference in Las Vegas, Nev. "This session at Vision is about rethinking our approach."

During his speech to hundreds of users, developers, customers and channel partners, Salem reiterated the company's commitment to addressing new areas of security and protecting information on cloud, mobile and virtualized platforms.

Salem said that enterprises are being inundated with unstructured data, leaving them perplexed as to how to meet increasing eDiscovery demands and regulatory requirements. And if customers are going to be successful in the age of information explosion, they're going to have to learn how to categorize it, he added.

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"There's an information explosion. One of the most critical things we have to do is categorize that information. Figure out what matters. Not all data is created equal," Salem said."How do you keep track of what's important and what's not?"

Salem said that as the amount of data increases, organizations are also becoming increasingly susceptible to malicious and sophisticated external attacks, such as Stuxnet, a 500 megabyte attack created with espionage and search and destroy capabilities and designed to target Uranium enrichment facilities in Iran.

"The threat landscape is changing more rapidly than ever before. It's more targeted, more toxic and more lethal. You see governments being targeted," he said.

Meanwhile, the workforce is becoming increasingly more mobile, Salem said. Currently there are more mobile devices than PCs being sold, while the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies allow users to bring their own mobile devices to work. "But they want control," Salem said. "The employees want bring those devices want privacy. So there's tension there."

"It's rapidly forcing us to think about how we protect these devices," he added.

Though vague on details, Salem said that Symantec planned to invest in mobile security and infrastructure to ensure that users can access their information securely from anywhere.

Touching on the cloud, Salem said that the platform also introduced security challenges while providing opportunities for Symantec.

More organizations are gravitating toward the cloud and virtualized environments to cut cost and create efficiencies, but are facing challenges in keeping their data secure and answering to regulatory compliance agencies."The reason we do it is we want to become more agile. The environments are becoming more complex," he said.

Salem asserted that Symantec would continue to help customers build both public and private cloud infrastructure, while helping customers overcome objections by keeping these platforms compliant and secure.

"Today we're dealing with a lot more complexity. How do we absolutely protect the environment while driving business results," he said. "How can Symantec help? What can we do? Our vision going forward is people and information," Salem said. "Everything that we've said starts with information."