We chat to the Kaspersky boss about the evolving anti-virus sector

Eugene Kaspersky: ‘Our mission is to save the world’

PCR sits down with CEO and chairman Eugene Kaspersky to discuss the evolving anti-virus sector…

You’re making a bigger push into enterprise – does that mean you’ll step back from producing consumer security software?
Eugene Kaspersky: No. We’re working hard, pushing and opening the doors to the enterprise segment. But it doesn’t mean we’re moving from consumer to enterprise. We have products and services for enterprises, and they’re very successful in places like Germany, Russia and France, so we’ve got the experience and sales forces.

We’re doing really good on B2C, and now we want to do the same on B2B. At the moment we have about 60 per cent of our revenue coming from the consumer side and 40 per cent from B2B. And enterprise is much more conservative [than consumer], especially on the British side.

Why did you decide to open a new office in London?
Our previous location was Engelstadt in Germany, which is quite a small place and not as international as London. We’ve been there for a long time, but we realised we needed to improve and find more people with international experience, and that’s why we chose London.

I’m very happy about this place, this office and our people. I think that many people have come here because it’s a better location. Our very first office opened in the UK in 1999 in Cambridge. That was our very first office abroad, then we moved to Oxford and now our third home is here in London.

Will this act as a European hub for Kaspersky?
This office space will be responsible not only for UK operations but also for Europe, and with a bit of global responsibility. The plan is to have about 140 people here – 70 responsible for British operations and 70 responsible for the rest of Europe. Our staff here will help us develop our business, protect our customers and save the world – which is our company mission.

Are there any trends making it more difficult for you to achieve that goal?
In terms of threats, we see three very dangerous scenarios: first of all, criminals are moving to the mobile space, but mobile users are still not aware of the threats, so there are many easy victims.

Secondly, traditional malware is moving to the cyberspace as well.There was a very strong signal recently – Latin American drug cartels hacked the system which manages containers loading and unloading in a sea port in Belgium.They used it to control containers with cocaine. It’s crazy, and very dangerous because they were employing engineers solely to develop malware.

There are also more types of security systems, so criminals are not just affecting the server or hardware – they’re affecting the real environment. For example, in Russia, someone hacked the network which manages street cameras and speed cameras and shut them down.

That’s why we work with consultancy agencies, to share our experiences and knowledge to assist them and possible victims, especially industrial systems, power plants, transportation and financial services.

Who are you targeting on the enterprise side?
We work closely with banks, consultancy companies and governments.We are opening doors to many enterprises – some are office space based, like banks, some have industrial systems, like factories or sea ports.

Our team can analyse what happened in the network and provide technical support to enterprises. At the same time we can provide extra solutions like anti-DDoS, service and many others.

Do you expect to see more mobile malware?
We count new malware for computer systems in the millions, and new malware for Android in the thousands, each month – but it’s growing faster than Windows malware.

I’m expecting criminals to change their mind and pay more attention to mobile systems. They’re vulnerable, except for iOS, which is more secure – at the same time, it’s more complicated to get Apple’s permission to develop software.

What are your growth plans for 2014?
We would like to grow faster than the market. We are doing this at the moment – that’s been the case for the last three years.

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