Protecting Europe against large-scale cyber-attacks - European Union Committee Contents

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 137 - 139)


Mr Ilias Chantzos and Dr Jose Nazario

  Q137  Chairman: Good morning. Dr Nazario and Mr Chantzos, we much appreciate the time you are giving us to come and give evidence. You have given us very helpful written evidence, which we appreciate very much indeed; but, as you will realise, we are very anxious to have a face to face discussion and we are looking forward to this morning. If after this session is over you feel that you would like to clarify or expand on some of the points you have made we should certainly very much welcome supplementary evidence. Let me ask the first question: it would be helpful if you could introduce yourselves and explain briefly how your companies fit in within the Internet industry, and to try and give us a verbal picture of what actually your companies do.

  Mr Chantzos: My name is Ilias Chantzos. I am the Director of Government Relations of Symantec for Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Japan. So I have responsibility for the government relations programme of Symantec for the whole world outside Americas. I am a barrister by training and before joining Symantec I used to work in the European Commission. I was responsible for information security policy within DGU Information Society. In that capacity I have done a number of legislative activities in this area. That is a bit of background about myself. In terms of who Symantec is, if you do not mind we have actually prepared an opening statement answering the first question, if you do not mind me walking you through that. First of all, we would like to extend our thanks to the Committee for the opportunity to provide oral evidence to this important inquiry. Founded back in 1982 Symantec has evolved to become the world's leader in information security. We are providing information security, storage and system management to help our customers to secure and manage their information driven world against more cyber risks at more points and more completely than any other company. We are a company that provides solutions for government, for the large and medium enterprises and also for the consumers at large. Symantec believes that all stakeholders have a role to play in addressing cyber security at all levels, given the ever evolving online threat in the environment. Effective information security from our end relies on the multilayered defence against attacks but also recognition that technology alone is not the solution to the problem. Equally important from our perspective is to address the people-related issues through education, training and awareness, whilst also ensuring that our organisations have been effective and appropriate policies and procedures to address the different incidents when those occur. We are committed to search developing solutions and technological solutions that will help address the online security availability and integrity concerns and also we are committed in supporting the public policy efforts across Europe that promote network information security. In that regard we are very pleased to have this opportunity to be here today and I am more than happy to try to answer any of your questions.

  Q138  Chairman: Where is the company based and who owns it?

  Mr Chantzos: We are a global company and we employ approximately 17,000 people across the globe. We have a very big presence in the UK where we have also, if you like, our business headquarters for Europe. We employ roughly 1,000 people in the UK. The company globally is headquartered in Mountain View, California. But, as I have said, we have operations across the globe and if I look at Europe, Middle East and Africa we probably employ a good chunk of our total number of employees in the region.

  Q139  Chairman: Is it publicly quoted?

  Mr Chantzos: That is correct. We are on NASDAQ—I think we were listed in NASDAQ back in 1987.

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