NWME: Do you see technology investments scaling down and the spectre of IT security taking a backseat during the slowdown?
EK: The internet is a service that both individuals and companies need. IT is like a utility service like electricity, water. At the same time, I expect companies to invest more into IT to cut costs. There will be less impact on the antivirus and IT security business. I believe we are in a safe zone.
NWME: Is software piracy a big challenge for software vendors like you?
EK: We expect more legal copies being adopted by users. Piracy is coming down as economise develop. However, we have seen some copies being replicated more frequently. In such cases, we have taken certain actions. We would blacklist either systems or the license number. In such cases, there would be no further product updates. The software still works but without updates, it isn’t effective.
NWME: Do you see yourself being on the backfoot as a late entrant to the region’s IT security market?
EK: We have been late to enter all markets simply because we are only over a decade old as a company. While we entered most markets after they had been developed by other anti-virus vendors. However, I guess we have been special and been able to make our mark. We want to position ourselves as ‘BMW’ among antivirus products in terms of functionalities and performance.
NWME: What would your go to market strategy be for the Middle East region?
EK: We have approached the MEA region in a different way. The usual approach was to target the consumer market first and then the corporate customers. It has been the other way around in this region and we have gone after corporate customers first. We already have customers in the government sector as well as several big names in the business sector.
NWME: Are there plans to offer hosted security services in the region?
EK: It is a promising segment where security is offered as a service. Consumers and many small businesses don’t have the experience to manage security. We may not offer right now but certainly see the opportunity to offer it in the near future.
NWME: Will Kaspersky look at getting into the UTM space as a vendor of hardware appliances?
EK: There are no such plans at the moment. We have a community of partners offering devices with our software. We offer our technology to these partners and are happy about it.