Symantec: Global training programme in cyber security to be piloted in New Zealand and Australia

Symantec project aims to plug continuous skills gap in the area.

Symantec will roll out a global skills training programme next year in cyber security to be piloted in New Zealand and Australia.

Brenton Smith, Symantec vice president and managing director for the Pacific region, says the programme is aimed at providing skills for underprivileged students and returning service personnel.

Smith is a member of the global committee working on details of the programme that is scheduled to start in April next year.

New Zealand and Australia will be the “test bed” for this programme, with Symantec taking steps to co-ordinate with polytechnics and TAFE to provide courses on a range of topics on cyber security.

We can then take the next step, he says, “help them get jobs” across enterprises.

He says the project came about following a meeting with the other global leaders at Symantec on ways they can give back to the community.

Related: Bruce Schneier: 'We live in a feudal security world'

Smith relates this programme to the top 10 predictions of Symantec for 2014.

These are:

Cyber crime and privacy issues will continue to be challenging

“Whether it is ransom ware, mobile cyber crime, app scams, exploiting niche social networks, corporate espionage or the move from mass cyber threats to more sophisticated and targeted attacks, there is no doubt that cyber crime and privacy will continue to be problematic for consumers and enterprises – both large and small,” says Symantec.

“People will finally begin taking active steps to keep their information private.” Scammers, data collectors and cyber criminals will not ignore any social network, no matter how niche or obscure it is. The rise of connected devices, also known as the ‘Internet of Things’ will morph into the "Internet of Vulnerabilities".

The Big Data bang is here

The proliferation of social media and mobile devices is leading to an information explosion. Every minute, we create, store and access complex data at an unprecedented scale. In fact 90 per cent of the world’s data was created in the last two years. Many companies project that their information will grow at an incredible 60 per cent to 70 per cent within one year. This free flow of data has created immense opportunities.

But it’s also opened the doors to new risks. As the Internet of Things, the cloud, real-time analytics and other technologies step out of our imaginations and into our lives, so too do a host of sophisticated threats that we must address, or risk progress, says Symantec.

Related: Applying Big Data principles to information security

Closing the information management skills gap

With real-time analytics and big data being seen as a competitive advantage for companies, Symantec expects a skills deficit in these areas in the upcoming year. Data related skills will be in high demand and companies that are desperate to hire people with these specialised skills, will pay premium dollars to plug the gaps.

“The additional challenge for New Zealand is the international poaching of talent and making sure we can secure the best people for this job at the right place and location,” reports Symantec.

Legislative and compliance issues take hold

Not only do companies need to stay ahead of the latest technology trends and events, but also legislative changes and compliance issues. Most governments are playing catch up with the law when it comes to the digital revolution. In New Zealand, the government is expected to table a draft of new privacy legislation very soon. This new legislation, which will replace the 1993 Privacy Act, could include changes such as compulsory privacy breach notifications and the power of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to audit and enforce compliance.

Also, as the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations progress, access to information and international patent legislation will remain an area of focus. Legislative and compliance issues are also reaching the consumer – individuals need to care about encryption and privacy law and what information is being used for this new frontier.

Spotlight on software-defined datacentres (SDDC)

The future datacentre looks different from today’s. Heterogeneous and distributed data centres, information and workloads everywhere, shared resources, abstraction of hardware from software, delivery as hybrid clouds, and velocity of change. This new environment poses some new challenges – visibility, access control, aggregation of responsibility. Future data centres need insights and real-time dynamics to mitigate risks. Symantec says SDDC is another trend to watch as the software-defined infrastructure becomes tangible.

Symantec says many organisations believe 2014 will be a year of education as customers come to understand the benefits of software-defined anything – compute, networking and storage – and overcome any challenges around trust and security.

Internet of Things comes of age

The Internet of Things is promising to drive productivity, improve business efficiency and spawn growth sectors in the coming decades and New Zealand businesses are starting to think about how they can make use of a world that is highly connected. Wearable computing is also exploding as leaps and bounds are made in hardware, entire operating systems, graphics processors and security being baked into microprocessors. As usage models for the Internet of Things start to emerge so too will hackers try to infiltrate these systems.

Enterprise app stores become the norm

By 2014, there will be more than 70 billion mobile app downloads from app stores every year. As organisations embrace employees bringing their own applications to work to complete daily tasks, by 2014, most organisations will deliver mobile apps to workers via private application stores.

Authentication goes mainstream

How you prove you are you is exploding, Symantec predicts. In particular, it expects to see a rise in the use of risk-based behavioural analysis and user profiling as a more frequent form of authentication. The introduction of biometrics in the iPhone is only the tip of the iceberg, it says.

“However we’re not anticipating that biometrics will be mainstream for some time as it still has some challenges around storing biometric data and privacy. Multi-factor authentication will become the norm and passwords will no longer be the sole form of the authentication for users.”

Distributed data causes confusion and frustration amongst consumers

As New Zealanders become multi-device consumers, keeping track of where their data resides will continue to cause confusion and frustration. As data is important than the device, consumers are struggling to manage their data across multiple devices and keep their information backed up so that it can be recovered if lost or stolen. This fragmented approach to data retention is leaving consumers exposed to cyber criminals, confused about their privacy and frustrated about having to spend more time managing their data across multiple devices and platforms, says Symantec.

3D printing - another vector for crime

As 3D printing becomes more affordable and highly available, Symantec says cyber criminals will seek to exploit 3D printing for piracy. “We anticipate blueprints of valuable designs will be a target for cyber criminals as 3D printing becomes more mainstream.”

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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Tags information securitysocial networksData managementsoftwaresymantecANZ3d printingInternet of ThingsBrenton Smithconsumerisation of technologyransom waresoftware-defined datacentres

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