Symantec CEO talks security, startup approach at KCITP event (Video)

Kansas City Information Technology Professoinals (KCITP) on Wednesday hosted InfoSec Night, an event to highlight information security and its role in consumer electronics. Staged at the Regneir Center on the campus of Johnson County Community College, the event featured a keynote delivered by Symantec CEO Enrique Salem. A hackathon-style session followed Salem's address, and networking

The audience at InfoSec Night welcomes keynote speaker Enrique Salem, the CEO of Symantec.

Kansas City Information Technology Professoinals (KCITP) on Wednesday hosted InfoSec Night, an event to highlight information security and its role in consumer electronics. Staged at the Regneir Center on the campus of Johnson County Community College, the event featured a keynote delivered by Symantec CEO Enrique Salem (left). A hackathon-style session followed Salem’s address, and networking among the more than 250 information security professionals who attended was threaded throughout.

Salem started his career in financial services as an engineer. Although not directly related to the information security profession, Salem came to know and understand the importance of security within the financial industry. He later went on to start his BrightMail, which focused on getting rid of email spam. BrightMail was acquired by Symantec in 2004, and Salem is now President and CEO of Symantec.

Startup mindset

Salem kicked off his keynote by discussing his startup background and how he attempts to run Symantec, a big corporation, like a startup.

“I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of startups,” Salem said. “And, quite frankly, even though I run a $7 billion company, I tell our employees every day, ‘I want us to act like a startup,’ and that is what’s important to me.”

Salem continued by giving an overview on new technology trends and how these trends encompass online security threats to consumers and organizations: 

Understanding security threats

Salem described an experiment conducted by Symantec for which the company purchased 50 cell phones, packaged them with tracking software and personal and corporate information, then purposefully left each phone in public areas for people to take.

Using the tracking software to understand how the phones were being navigated, Symantec learned that 89 percent of the phones taken showed the individual viewing personal information on the phone and 83 percent viewed corporate information.

(Above: A hackathon-style session was part of KCITP’s event on Wednesday night.)

A “special time” in technology

Salem discussed how our society is experiencing a “special time” in technology. Where the past 30 years have been a evolution of the desktop PC, the years to follow will experience a major change and shift in how we use and rely on technology. 

He gave some examples to support this special time, and it starts with Digital Natives. Coined by Salem, Digital Natives is the generation that relies on the network (i.e., social networks, crowdsourcing, etc.) for answers and, as Salem suggests, finds email useless and not as powerful as the transparency the Internet creates.

For Salem’s address in its entirety, plus introductory remarks from KCITP founder and president Michael Gelphman check the video below. 

 

Credits: Photos of InfoSec night by Chris Lucky of Adcuda. Photo of Salem from kcitp.com. Video from DigitalEv on Ustream.

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