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February 6, 2007

RSA: Symantec chief on Microsoft security

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano at 11:04 AM

SAN FRANCISCO -- John Thompson, chairman and CEO of Symantec, took the stage here shortly after Bill Gates to deliver a keynote speech that included several digs at Microsoft and its new operating system, Vista.

Symantec, one of a number of large security companies to squabble last fall with Microsoft over access to elements of the Vista kernel used in building security software, makes products that compete directly with new security offerings from Microsoft. Microsoft made some changes in response.

Thompson, outlining his vision for the future of the industry, said new technologies will inevitably be needed to solve tomorrow's security threats. Referring to Vista, the operating system Microsoft is billing as its most secure ever, Thompson said:

We should also not assume that a less vulnerable operating platform provides adequate security against tomorrow's threats. Did you get that? Instead, we need to constantly innovate and develop new solutions to keep pace with the evolving risk to enterprises and consumers alike.

Thompson said it takes more than one company to provide the range of security solutions in demand today.

No one company is going to secure everybody and, certainly, no one can do it alone. No company is so dominant or so all-knowing that it can provide the level of confidence needed throughout the entire online world. ... More than that, who would trust one company to do all of this and everything for them? Think about it: You wouldn't want the company that is keeping your books to audit your books. That same logic should apply. You wouldn't want the company that created your company's operating platform to be the one that's securing it from a broad range of threats. It's a huge conflict of interest.

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