“We changed the culture from warning customers to assisting them.”
As the nation’s largest Internet provider, we have more than 18 million high-speed customers, and Comcast is taking a leadership role in developing policy, technology tools, and customer outreach to help keep each one of them safe and secure online. “We are working to be the customer’s trusted adviser on Internet safety. Not only is it good for business, but it’s just the right thing to do,” says Jay Opperman, executive director of Security and Privacy at Comcast Cable.
From viruses and hackers to malicious software and phishing, online security threats are real and varied. So, too, are Comcast’s responses, as Jay works every day to develop and implement new and improved customer-security strategies, products, and services to keep our Internet users safe.
Comcast partners with many organizations — including Common Sense Media, National Cyber Security Alliance, NetSmartz, and Symantec — to find solutions and raise awareness about online security issues. We also work with the Family Online Safety Institute to develop public policy and special events to promote industry best practices, and we sponsor the Internet Keep Safe Coalition (ikeepsafe.org), joining with governors, attorneys general, educators, and others to teach families to use the Internet safely.
Jay also helps lead the Comcast Customer Security Assurance group, a dedicated team responding to real-time online security and safety threats. The group reaches out to about 1,000 customers every day, alerting them to potentially compromised personal and financial information. “The goal is to try to help customers feel safe and secure, and to do that proactively, not reactively,” he says.
With Jay’s guidance, Comcast in 2011 unveiled the Constant Guard Protection Suite, an Internet safety solution available to XFINITY Internet customers at no additional cost. A desktop application worth $360, Constant Guard provides the tools to help prevent, detect, respond to, and manage security threats. The program also sends out automatic service notices when a customer’s security — usually concerning theft of identification — appears to be at risk. “We changed the culture from warning customers to assisting them,” Jay says, adding that Constant Guard adds value to Comcast business operations and helps build trust with our customers. “Of all the major Internet service providers, Comcast now offers the most comprehensive online security protection, from education and prevention to remediation and recovery.”
To help develop policy and find additional innovative solutions to security threats, Jay represents Comcast on an advisory committee created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Called the Communications, Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council, this committee focuses on timely, industry-led efforts to share ideas, discuss solutions, and establish best practices.
“I see my job as ensuring that Comcast’s Internet services are providing the proper safeguards for our customers,” Jay says, “and that we are all doing our part so we can surf the ‘net’ safely and securely.”