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22 June 2007, 12:41

Symantec opens new EMEA Security Operations Centre

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Symantec have formally opened their new Europe, Middle East and Africa Security Operations Centre. Taking over from its predecessor (a Cold War nuclear bunker near Reading, UK) the new centre is sited at the vendor's UK headquarters and will house around 350 technical personnel including a hundred in customer support, around the same number on the development side and a hundred and fifty response analysts. It is one of three such centres world wide which, as well as operating in their own dedicated spaces can also apparently load share with each other. The facility is described as highly secure, and also a significantly more comfortable working environment than its predecessor.

Symantec will be offering managed security services from the new facility which Senior Vice President EMEA John Brigden believes stand out from the crowd most by being finely tuned to the exact requirements of individual customers. He cited a number of example SLA scenarios ranging from out-of-hours network intrusion monitoring to malware alerting on a ten-minute turn-round from detection to notification. He stressed the importance to these services of Symantec's intelligence archive and the ongoing accumulation of data from a world-wide network of sources, and indicated that compliance support will be a component of the service. The centre has obtained certification under ISO27001 (information security management) and SAS 70 Type 2 auditing.

Art Wong, Senior Vice President of Managed Security Services gave heise some further technical background on the scale of Symantec data gathering. He quoted 40,000 network sensors currently installed worldwide on both customer and non-customer networks, plus voluntary incident reports from an average of 0.1 per cent of the customer base every month. Symantec also claims to hold around 350 million mailboxes world wide which are used exclusively to trap spam: apparently between 0.6 and 0.7 per cent of all spam trapped in these contains or points to malicious code.


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