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Kaspersky Lab plans to shake up corporate security

Warwick Ashford

Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab aims to become a major security supplier to small, medium and large business by 2014.

At a briefing in Moscow, the firm's executives outlined a six-year plan for an aggressive roll out of security products and services tailored for business.

"We are paying more attention to the enterprise market by building new enterprise level products and support teams," chief executive and co-founder Eugene Kaspersky told Computer Weekly.

"Kaspersky Lab supports more than 50% of the Russian corporate market, so we are sure we can do it in Europe and elsewhere," he said.

The firm is also investing in its research and development team which grew more than 50% in 2009 to over 300 members.

The goal of achieving top position in the corporate security market does not end with revenue and market share, said Keith Maskell, vice-president of the corporate business division.

"Our aim is to be number one in innovation, support and most importantly to be the most trusted security supplier by both government and business," he said.

But Kaspersky has a lot of ground to make up, with IDC ranking the company fifth in corporate anti-malware and endpoint security, behind Symantec, McAfee, Sophos and Trend Micro.

In 2009, 65% of Kaspersky Lab's business was in the consumer market, compared with 27% for business and 8% with OEMs.

"It is an ambitious goal, but we believe we have the technology, resources and global partner network to be number one," said Maskell.

The corporate market is ready for a fresh approach because security has become too complex and expensive, he said.

But, the company does not expect corporate IT security managers to change their security buying pattern very quickly, said Kaspersky.

"We understand that the corporate market is much more conservative than the consumer market, particularly in the UK, and we do not expect fast results," he said.

Kaspersky Lab plans to capitalise on its presence in the consumer market, particularly in end-point security, to spearhead its corporate market expansion plans.

"As the number of mobile users increases in most corporate, end-point security has become more important that securing the network perimeter," said Maskell.

Kaspersky also plans to launch corporate versions of hosted mail and web content filtering products and a web based real time malware detection service by the end of 2010.

A single development team for all core technologies is another key component of the firm's strategy, but interoperability is also a design goal to allow business to mix and match.

"We have a higher level of integration than any of our competitors to provide a comprehensive policy-driven protection system," said Maskell.

"But we understand that some corporates want to spread the risk with a multi-vendor approach," he said.

Enhancement of the firm's management console, due for release in 2011, is another important part of the strategy, according to Alexey Kalgin, corporate division product marketing director.

Centralised and interoperable management and control is important in corporate security, which is one of the biggest differences to the consumer market, he said.

"The management console is being designed based on feedback from corporate system administrators to meet their specific needs," he said.

Corporate sales will be 100% through Kaspersky Lab's partner network, but there will be some direct touch to large corporates and government, said Maskell.

"There will be a direct line of contact if required for support as well as for feedback to our development team," he said.


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