within Symantec has been wide and diverse, what would you say has been the
highlight in your career?
The highlight of my career is at Symantec where in the past year we
delivered security solutions to the tens of millions of users to protect
them against the web based attack. I feel like we are truly helping to
protect enterprise and consumer users and leading the charge in terms of
Where do you
see yourself in five years time?
I really enjoy
product management and security so I will be at either Symantec or some
similar exciting company. It is scary and exciting to think about how the
threat landscape will have changed by then.
being discovered all across the globe, what are the logistics of managing
We have to be
effective with our resources and continue to be proactive and change the
game in our threat protection strategies. If we don’t do this we will be in
a purely reactive mode fighting threat outbreaks across the world.
Symantec ahead of other companies?
perspective it is our Security Technology and Response. Any company can
make a product and call it “security software” or a “security hardware.”
What differentiates us is our approach to providing the core security
technologies, the threat intelligence and the threat content that protects
our consumer and enterprise customers.
For the average computer user, what are you top tips in managing your
1. Keep ALL
your software up to date. Including 3rd party multimedia and reader plug-in.
2. Deploy a comprehensive endpoint security product. Traditional signature
based antivirus is NOT enough. Use and turn on all features.
3. Keep your security product subscription current. At 20,000 signatures a
day, even 1 day can put you at risk.
4. Be cautious and suspicious. Download software updates directly from
5. Adopt a good password policy. Different and strong passwords.
6. Prevention is the best cure - use proactive technology.
your thoughts on the future of internet security?
going away – with financially motivated cybercriminals, they will continue
to try new things to infect and take advantage of users.
been your most challenging “internet threat”?
advertisements, or malvertisements, since they are so transient and may only
appear every 1 out of 1000 times on a page. It makes tracking them
internet now moving towards portable devices, what do you believe will be
the next challenges for developers of internet security?
ensure the developers of these new platforms build in security from the
What is the
biggest flaw of internet users?
today post too much personal and private information online today without
thinking about the repercussions of 5, 10 or 20 years from now. It may
impact them when they are applying for a job 10 years from now or having
their identity stolen today.
We’ve seen a
variety of dangers in the years from viruses to bots and the like, what do
you think the next threat will be to users?
It is really
hard to say since the changes have been occurring so frequently. With the
financial motivation there will be new ways to separate users from their
In your professional opinion, do you think there will be a day when the
operating system will no longer need internet security software?
would like to think so, but realistically I don’t think it is possible again
tying back to the financial motivation. As we close one hole, the
hackers/cyber criminals look for another.
PC versus Mac versus Linux. Do you believe there is one operating system
that is superior to the other?
No, especially the way that the browser has essentially become the operating
system for today’s web applications.
Your computer at home, PC or Mac and why?
am a Mac guy primarily for my nature and landscape photography (www.jharrisonphoto.com).
For me, working on macs with my images just works easier. It really is just
a tool to allow me to get creative!
Walking into the realm of science fiction, do you think that a virus or
the like actually be beneficial if you could rework it?
No, the idea of automatically doing something without the users permission
(either for good or bad) isn’t good.
Is there such a thing as the perfect virus?
So far we haven’t seen one and let’s hope it stays that way.
With so many
different digital threats in the world, how can users or governments catch
I think the
primary goal today is to keep them out, not to catch them since it is so
difficult. It is a big challenge considering the lack of boundaries the
internet has and often the hacker can be so far away from where the actual
drive-by download or server is hosting up misleading applications. It is
going to take some joint cooperation to catch the perpetrators.
Have you ever had a virus or the like on your personal computer?
Only on my test systems in an infection network. I have had a fake
antivirus application pop-up, but since I didn’t install it, I was safe.