Connected Cars and IoT need a different kind of security

28 March, 2015

Darren Thomson, Symantec's next CTO for Europe, calls for new approach to network security: "It is impossible to repair trillions of connected devices after they were infected"

Darren Thomson, Symantec’s next CTO for Europe, calls for new approach to network security: “It is impossible to repair trillions of connected devices after they were infected”


When the newly appointed CTO of Symantec in Europe says that the common security perception does not fit the new connected cars and IOT industry, it’s a sign that the cyber security market is at a cross road.

TechTime met this week Darren Thomson Symantec’s current Marketing CTO and from next month the new European CTO. By the way, Symantec stands at a cross road: next month it will be splitted into two companies: A cyber-security company called Symantec, and the renew Veritas, based on Symantec’s data-storage & information management division.

Darren, who started out originally at Veritas before it was acquired by Symantec 10 years ago, will continue with Symantec as the CTO of the European team of 120 professionals that will offer consulting services to the EMEA customers.

“I am currently working with major car manufacturers in Europe. They are very concerned about the security issues in the modern car,” sais Darren. “When it comes to connected cars and IOT devices, one should think about security issues differently than they do today.

“In the past, security systems focused on responses to threats: they reacted to malware softwares and offered security protection after the breaches have been identified. However, when it comes to connected cars or the internet of things with its trillions of connected devices, this becomes unrealistic. It is impossible to repair trillions of infected devices. In this case, security should take a big part in the initial planning stages.”

Starting with cars

“We are having discussions with car manufacturers in Europe on questions such as how will the vehicles be designed? How best design a secure communication network in a car? And how best to protect the car once it starts? This has further implications: in an era of connected cars security can be a marketing advantage much like safety provided a marketing advantage before the days of connected cars.”

How should new security systems look?

“Security systems for new product generations will be different. They have to be lightweight and fast.  You don’t want mess with response times. The way to do it, is by transferring to intelligence outside of the protected device. The security market should change and become an Intelligence market. It will be able to identify developing threats and pass the information through the network to the end devices before they are even attacked.”

How do you do that?

“We’re doing it already. We protect over 200 million people today whose computers report to us daily. This data is sent to our Global Intelligent Platform which analyzes it and detected threats. We actually take care at any given moment of 3 trillion suspected threats.”

Big Data: We have computers but not enough people

“This system allows us to detect attacks before they even occur. If for example we detect a certain threat against a financial institution, we automatically alert all the financial institutions security systems before they are attacked. An interesting phenomenon in the security market today is the growing cooperation between many companies. This is very important. It’s our job to build an Intelligence international network which monitors all possible threats.”

Big Data is the key?

“There is a certain problem with Big Data. ,Many companies build large data banks in order to analyze data with Big Data Methodologies. However, the reality is that there are not enough people who know how to ask the right questions. We need Data Scientists with a large-scale knowledge of psychology and social sciences. My assumption is, that in the next 5 years, we will face a lack of this type of professionals, the ones who know how to formulate the right questions in order to get the desired answers from the Big Data systems. Because of this, by the way, I went back to school and now I’m studying social psychology encouraged by Symantec.”

Share via Whatsapp

Posted in: News , Software and IT