By Brian Prince, 2012-05-09
At the company’s Vision 2012 Conference in Las Vegas, company executives discussed details about the company’s plans for the cloud and mobile space, as well as possible acquisitions and its development road map.
LAS VEGAS — Secure cloud computing and mobile device security are top priorities for enterprises, but they also share top spots on Symantec’s list of plans for extending its product portfolio, company executives told eWEEK.
At the company’s Vision 2012 Conference in Las Vegas, Symantec officials laid out a road map that includes building up its cloud-based O3 platform and stretching further into both the mobile and cloud computing space through a mix of organic development and acquisitions.
“This was something that I talked about last year–that we would add new capabilities, new products, new services to our portfolio,” CEO Enrique Salem said Tuesday, regarding the company’s cloud computing plans. “So, recently we acquired LiveOffice ... We spent $1.3 billion to buy VeriSign. Why? Their certificate business is interesting, but what’s more interesting is our ability to create products like O3, which used the … identity-protection technology that VeriSign had built.”
Symantec announced the general availability of the O3 Cloud Identity and Access Control platform in February. O3 enables single sign-on across Web applications, such as Salesforce.com. According to Fran Rosch, vice president of trust service for Symantec’s Enterprise Security Group, the next step is to add the company’s data-loss-prevention (DLP) and encryption technology into the mix.
"When we have the information security layer in, we can actually use the DLP to do the information classification management and say, 'this type of information cannot leave the enterprise; it cannot go to Dropbox,'" Rosch explained.
“Once you have that control point, that gateway that controls traffic in and out, and you can enforce policies, then you can start adding other capabilities,” Salem said. “You can put in archiving; you can integrate DLP into that control point; you can integrate e-discovery. We have companies who are looking at cloud-based email, and one of the things they tell us is that, ‘when we go to cloud-based email, we need to have a place where we still enforce the same policies that we did when we had on-premise.’ So our plans are to integrate more and more of our portfolio into that control point.”
When asked if Symantec has plans for its own cloud-based, secure storage service, Salem was coy.
“We see that as an interesting space, and I’d ask you to stay tuned and see how we participate,” he said.
The company acquired LiveOffice earlier this year, which was Symantec’s OEM partner for its cloud-based email-archiving solution, Enterprise Vault.cloud. It also acquired Nukona, which specialized in mobile application management. The technology from Nukona allows organizations to apply security policies to mobile apps used by their employees, such as encryption of local data.
This flexibility of enabling both this approach and mobile device management (MDM) for customers is important because employees at heavily regulated companies adopting a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategy may be hesitant to surrender control of a device they paid for in the name of corporate policy, explained Brian Duckering, senior manager of enterprise mobility at Symantec.
“The problem comes when maybe you are in a regulated industry … if one of those companies wants to do BYOD, they are going to have a problem because the policies that they would apply in their MDM solution are going to be pretty severe, and they should be,” he said. “The problem is then the end user brings in their own device and [says], ‘I’m not going to sign up for this; I don’t want you turning off my camera, blocking access to the app store [and] doing all these other things. I am paying for this device.’”
Without mentioning any companies, Salem said there is a possibility of future acquisitions in the mobile space, and that the goal will be to help enterprises deal with the bring-your-own-device approach being adopted by many enterprises.
“When you look at the areas that are interesting to our customers, what are they worried about, what are they trying to do? They are thinking about this notion of bring your own device,” Salem said. “They are trying to deal with mobility and the new technologies that the customers have.”
“We actually believe that this area of mobility is an important area for us to continue bringing new capabilities,” he said. “Some of it will be organic; some of it will be through M&As.”