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'Madware' and virtualisation key areas to watch in 2013: Symantec

Businesses need to be aware of, and prepared for, mobile adware, or "madware", in 2013, according to Symantec Pacific region specialist solutions director, Sean Kopelke, who includes social media, mobile and Cloud threats in his warning.

He also foresees cyber conflict becoming the norm.

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"In 2013 and beyond, conflicts between nations, organisations, and individuals will play a key role in the cyber world," he said.

More attacks on individuals and non-government organisations will likely take place, such as supporters of political issues and members of minority groups in conflict.

"This type of targeting is currently seen when hacktivist groups are aggravated by an individual or company," Kopelke said.

When it comes to backup and disaster recovery appliances, the continued proliferation of Cloud will continue to play a key role.

Kopelke also predicts virtualisation will become an enabler for private and hybrid Clouds.

"We'll continue to see more businesses move their business-critical applications into virtual or cloud environments to achieve all the simplicity, affordability and efficiency that these environments have to offer," The hypervisor market also shows promise, with Symantec expecting it to evolve with greater diversity of virtualisation solutions on the market.

"Organisations will look to maximise capabilities with platforms that support multiple hypervisors, physical, virtual, snapshot and cloud based infrastructure for backup, recovery and management," Kopelke said.

These predictions came in the way of what Kopelke characterises as a "swing in virtualisation uptake" in 2012, with more business critical applications being virtualised by Australian businesses than ever before.

To back up his claims, Kopelke points to a Newspoll survey that found 69 per cent of companies on the exhibit floor show of vForum 2012 admitting to virtualising more than half of their servers.

The same survey found that 50 per cent had virtualised more than 75 percent, while 78 percent have virtualised business critical applications.

When it comes to summing up 2012, Kopelke highlights the sudden move from mobile device management to m-commerce and mobile security.

"At the same time, and as BYOD becomes more common, social networking has continued to evolve," he said.

Kopelke adds that the two areas converge into one another.

"Protecting this has been and will continue to be front of mind for Symantec," he said.

"One never knows what is around the corner, but with our Global Security Operations Centres, we've been able to respond quickly to this dynamic area."

Partner priority

When it comes to Symantec's roadmap for 2013, Kopelke said it will come down to looking at ways to "bring more value" to its partners.

When asked how this has been reflected in feedback from partners, Kopelke said it was about how Symantec can help them with solutions to help protect and manage their customers' information, regardless of their platform or OS.

While the vendor already has solutions over numerous platforms, and offers choice in the forms of software, appliance or Cloud solutions, Symantec is expected to continually look for ways to further strengthen its solutions.

"In 2013, we want to further enable our partners to achieve a predictable and profitable business by integrating and offering more choices into the next iteration of our eSPP for partners," Kopelke said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.


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