Symantec warns against conflicts of security interest

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Symantec warns against conflicts of security interest

Microsoft lacks credibility in securing its own operating system, security
vendor alleges.

Only industry-wide alliances will be able to instill consumer confidence in online security and safeguard the future of e-business, Symantec chief executive John Thompson charged at the RSA Conference in San Francisco.

"You wouldn't want the company that is keeping you books, to audit your books," Thompson said in a keynote at the security conference.

"That same logic should apply [to IT security]. You wouldn't want the company that created your company's operating platform be the one that secures it against a broad range of threats. By working together, we can untangle this conflict of interests," Thompson said in an apparent jab at Microsoft's recent foray into the anti virus and anti spyware industry with its Windows Defender and Onecare products.

The security industry also has been undergoing a consolidation trend. Last year acquisitions of RSA by EMC and IBM's purchase of ISS were some of the most visible deals.

But instead of building all-encompassing security suites, Thompson argued that companies should partner. Symantec for instance has partnership with vendors ranging from Accenture to Google and Yahoo.

"No one company is going to secure everybody. No company is so dominant or so all-knowing that they could provide the level of confidence needed throughout the entire online world."

Thompson charged that building consumer confidence in online security is " the single most important mission" to ensure further online growth.

"When consumers known that their identities will be protected and that their data is secure, they will do more online."
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