Video: Kaspersky, Number 3 With A Bullet, Launches Internet Security 2009 - InformationWeek

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8/4/2008
11:00 AM
Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe
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Video: Kaspersky, Number 3 With A Bullet, Launches Internet Security 2009

You could call Kaspersky Lab the biggest PC security vendor you're not quite sure you've heard of. I took my video camera along for a sit-down with Kaspersky; the folks there told me about the new flagship products launching Monday -- Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 and Anti-Virus 2009 -- as well as how they rose to No. 3 in the market, after Symantec and Trend Micro.

You could call Kaspersky Lab the biggest PC security vendor you're not quite sure you've heard of. I took my video camera along for a sit-down with Kaspersky; the folks there told me about the new flagship products launching Monday -- Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 and Anti-Virus 2009 -- as well as how they rose to No. 3 in the market, after Symantec and Trend Micro.I suggest you watch the video to get a good sense of the tack Kaspersky is taking with its new PC security products. But the gist of the approach is, it's no longer a viable technique to have your PC security product go out over the Web to the vendor and download increasingly humongous (that's redundant, isn't it) lists of threats. Nope; these days, the security program itself has to have more in the way of what I'd call anticipatory smarts.

"This whole product is about, if the threat can't execute, it can't hurt you," says Jeff Aliber, Kaspersky's senior director of products. "Given the challenges we see out there with cybercrime, that's what it's all about. The volume [of malware] is not something anyone can keep up with, so the focus is on ensuring that you're protected."

To that end, Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 and Anti-Virus 2009 incorporate blacklisting, whitelisting, and a whole bunch of heuristics (rules you maybe can't explain, but the system knows stuff when it sees it!) to be able to keep an eye on everything that's happening, security-wise, on your machine.

The products also steer away from presenting the user with a lot of decision-making situations. That's a positive, because most users aren't very sophisticated, so they don't know what to do anyway. Plus, as we've seen with the canonically bad User Account Controls in Windows Vista, dialogues often degenerate into pro forma exercises in time-wasting.

"The new technology is not chatty; it doesn't come up with a lot of dialogue boxes. And the technology is seven times faster than previous versions," says Kaspersky chief marketing officer Randy Drawas.

As to the rise of Kaspersky past McAfee to the No. 3 security slot, Drawas says: "In a very short period of time, you've seen Kaspersky come out of nowhere to be a major player in malware."

The company has built a strong position by having a hand in the market in the consumer, enterprise, and OEM segments. (It has 130 OEMs, and Microsoft's Sybari uses the Kaspersky security engine.)

OK, on to the video. This one is a classic industrial shoot, as in, it doesn't have the sexiness of my iPhone 3G flash-mob vid. But the three Kaspersky guys -- Aliber, Drawas, and company evangelist Ryan Naraine -- lay it all out for you, with an interesting explanation of their product and the current state of the security business. Watch it. (Please!)

[Update, Aug. 4, 8pm: In response to a reader query: The claim that Kaspersky holds the number three position in the PC security market, after Symantec and Trend Micro, comes from my interview with Jeff Aliber, Kaspersky's senior director of products.]

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