Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fun with Symantec

At a recent Microsoft event I was at I had the chance to speak with the folks from Symantec at their booth. They were giving away little footballs as swag and naturally I needed one of those. Of course in exchange for said football I had to talk with them and let them scan my name tag.

As I was talking to the rep I told them that I was already a customer. He asked me what version we were using and I told him the latest. Then, as if he didn't hear that I was already a customer and already sold on their products, he started to explain to me how great the latest version was and that it was "killing it" out there. He also explained how their technology was superior because they were moving away from definitions and using signatures to detect infected files which was not only more secure but faster.

What the rep didn't know was that I was looking for just such a segue. You see, the week before the event our latest version of Symantec, the one "killing it", let a bug through from a web link in an email. This gave me the perfect opportunity to point out that while their product may be "killing it" they missed a bug that wiped an entire workstation.

The rep then tried to sell me on the idea that I should have submitted the infected files and they would research it and update their signatures because they had the best team in the world for doing that. Again, I'm already sold on them but I had to explain to the rep the role his company plays in our environment. In the ideal world I'd have plenty of time to send samples to them but most times I'm depending on them to "kill it" and be one step ahead. Otherwise my time is spent fixing the bug that got through as opposed to post infection analysis.

I'm still sold on Symantec and I understand that even with our multiple layers of protection things still get through, especially this time of year, I was just enjoying, perhaps too much, pressing the front line guy Symantec happened to send to the same event I was at. I'm sure he'll go on his break if he sees me coming at a future show.