Construction is under way on a new Springfield Symantec center

SPRINGFIELD — Symantec is building a security operations center at its Springfield facility to meet a growing demand for storing sensitive data, company officials say.

The computer security and data storage company said construction should be finished by November on the nearly 3,400-square-foot center, The Register-Guard newspaper reported Saturday.

The center will be staffed by about a dozen employees who will work in shifts around the clock, 365 days a year. It's unclear whether those workers will be new hires.

Symantec's 1,170-employee Springfield complex provides customer service support for and sells products to large businesses, universities, government agencies and other organizations.

The main function of the new security center will be to back up sensitive data for some of Symantec's biggest customers, said Paul Meijer, Symantec's senior director of infrastructure operations. The facility also will be a backup for Symantec's half-dozen other security operations centers around the world, including one at corporate headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

Employees who work in the new center will need to pass credit and criminal background checks, Meijer said. The credit check would rule out someone, for example, with a large gambling debt, who might be tempted to turn over customer information to someone who promised to pay it off, he said.

Symantec was founded in 1982 and built a name for itself with its Norton antivirus software.

Cybersecurity is no longer just about keeping "something bad from happening," said Cris Paden, a company spokesman.

"It's not about building up a brick wall around a building, or servers, to make sure nothing can get in," Paden said. "That's part of it. But another part is, if you do get hit, have you backed up your information? And is it accessible in a quick and effective manner?"

Paden said putting a security operations center in the Eugene-Springfield area made sense because the company already has a strong presence there.

"This stuff doesn't happen by accident," he said. "It had to be a strategic decision. We had to put it in a place where we felt it would be in good hands."

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