Good guys versus bad guys - who's ahead?

Tuesday, 9 December 2003, 3:39 PM EST

"More than 100 new viruses are identified every week--and 60 new software (problems) every week," he said in a recent keynote speech. "We saw a 19 percent increase in attack activity in the first half" of 2003.

Spam, of course, is also on the rise, along with arguably ill-advised attempts to curb it.

On top of that, Microsoft, Computer Associates International and other software companies are beginning to encroach on the security market. Still, it's not Thompson's style to come across as perturbed. Awareness about security problems is growing, and so is Symantec.

Since Thompson's arrival from IBM in 1999, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has more than doubled its revenue in the teeth of an industrywide downturn. Symantec has also completed a series of acquisitions to move deeper into the market for generalized management tools.

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