Though EMC has acquired RSA and Symantec bought Veritas, Eugene Kaspersky plans to continue developing most of his software in-house.
Kaspersky Labs, based in Moscow, makes Open Space Security, Mail and Gateway Security, Internet Security 2009 and other security software. This week he sat down with ComputerWorld Canada and shared his thoughts on network security, malware and what the future holds for his company.
*He disagreed with a recent Gartner opinion saying enterprise pay too much for anti virus.
“What we see is computer threats change year by year. In the past it was just the hooligans, teenagers developing computer viruses. Now there are computer criminals who develop malware just for financial gain. They develop malware to steal information, to get access to bank accounts, to inject malware into the corporate environments. How do anti-virus companies respond to that? That depends on how good the companies are with the technologies. To fight with cyber criminals, who are high-end technical guys, we have to develop the high-end technologies. Believe me, the development of such systems and supporting them is quite a big investment. So I don’t agree that enterprises pay too much for anti-malware systems.”
*The problem of spoofing goes beyond yesterday’s cross-site request forgery discovery.
“There are so many criminal businesses on the Internet that spoof Web sites, hijacking the data there. It’s just one piece of the whole landscape of criminal businesses on the Internet, and I think that the most interesting cases are not like this one. The most curious thing on the Internet is the fact that sometimes criminals, they play on the stock exchange with the help of malware. They start to play on the stock exchange on one hand from their own company and on the other hand from a hijacked company. If you want to inject some malware into some computers you don’t need to develop malware by yourself. You can request it and criminals will develop it for you. They will publish their price lists for malware. There is technical support, there are terms of service.”
*He touted the application control feature of Kaspersky Internet Security 2009.
“Actually our 2009 products were just consumer products. We test our new technologies on the consumer market. These new technologies are a revolution in the anti-malware industry because there’s a new approach with this protection. Instead of blacklist protection, we have application control which has a black list and a white list and keeps basically systems in their place. Second, we have the security network approach where we have reputation servers in the cloud. So we’re introducing new technologies which none of our competitors have in their product line and the next step is to have these technologies and more technologies in our corporate product line.”
*Kaspersky said there is a place for using the cloud to scan files for malware.
“We already have security in the cloud. We have it for our white list technologies, the database of known good software is stored on our servers which is removed. But still we believe that the black list technologies, the database of known malware or heuristic scanning and other technologies which are detect malware, they have to stay at the end point level.”
*Kaspersky’s mobile security strategy includes ways of foiling cell phone thieves.
“We support Symbian and Windows Mobile devices. The threat for smart phones is not as great as the threat for desktop-based Windows but still there is more risk with it, and at the same time we address the problem of lost or stolen smart phones. Our solution for smart phones is partly anti-virus and partly anti-theft, and it works in such a way that if your smart phone is lost or stolen, you will get an SMS with a new number of the (SIM) card and you can send an SMS to your old device and destroy your personal data.
*How Kaspersky responds to industry consolidation, such as EMC’s purchase of RSA and Symantec’s acquisition of Veritas:
“There are three options for us. To acquire a company; second, to license technology from a second company or to develop technology ourselves. We use all three methods. For example we acquired anti-spam products in the past. We got technologies such as white lists from independent companies and the rest of the technologies we develop in our lab. Our acquisition of market share is not in our plans at the moment because we do not need to enlarge our market share by acquiring other companies.”
*On the recent acquisition of a patent for scan-speed technology:
“We were issued these patents to get protect our business and technologies in case of patent wars with other companies.”