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Symantec Split Will Positively Impact Gulf Markets – Official

Symantec Split Will Positively Impact Gulf Markets – Official

The recent split will drive more focused investments to the sector, company executives say.

The recent split of security software firm Symantec will positively impact its operations in the local market, according to a senior official.

“It will not have any impact on our customers and any effect will only be positive,” Amer Chebaro, regional manager, Gulf and Levant, Symantec, disclosed during an interview with Gulf Business.

Symantec, which produces Norton anti-virus software, announced last week that it has separated into two different publicly listed companies with one focusing on security and the other looking at storage and back up.

“Now (the company) will be more focused on technology. The split has been done to drive the right amount of investments into this field because investments needed in security are different from investments in information management, back up and archiving.

“This has been done on a HQ level but it will only increase our commitment to the local customers.”

Analysts have termed the split as an attempt to boost share prices but Chebaro dismisses the idea, saying that the aim is purely to help the company segment its focus-areas.

Regionally, he said that the company has invested significantly in the region with offices in the UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Lebanon with another office soon opening in Kuwait.

“According to Gartner, the cyber security market in the Middle East and North Africa in 2014 is estimated to be valued at $1 billion, which is almost an eight per cent growth from 2013,” said Chebaro.

“Globally our business in information security systems is growing but Middle East represents a substantial market for us.”

The software security giant will also be improving its business in detection software as the industry demands have been shifting from simple prevention to being able to detect and respond quickly to an attack.

Symantec is also banking on its large bank of cyber threat intelligence as a medium for future growth.

“The biggest differentiator we have is our ability to see into what is happening in the cyber threat landscape,” said Antonio Forzieri, EMEA cyber security practice lead, Symantec.

He explained that customers in Gulf were more concerned with detection capabilities because building in-house detection capabilities requires a lot of money. Moreover, one of the major challenges that Gulf firms face is finding and retaining talent in the IT sector.

Forzieri said that investing in intelligence is far more economical, in turn leading to a growth in demand for the company’s cyber threat intelligence unit.

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