ESET: Flexibility key to pre-empting malware attacks

Security solutions need to be efficient and flexible to counter attacks, says ESET, whose APAC headquarters officially opens in Singapore.

SINGAPORE--With an astonishing 1 million new malware threats being developed everyday--most of them linked to financial cybercrime--the Internet is growing increasingly dangerous, says security software solutions provider ESET.

However, the company thinks its products are in a better position to ward off such attacks. CTO Richard Marko said ESET's patented ThreatSense engine is able to detect malware even before malicious software hits end-users, thus generating an extra layer of security for PCs.

ESET claims that it is this proactive detection which sets it apart from the competition.

The company's unique NOD32 Antivirus software was also designed to provide flexibility for engineers to work on updates to counter new attacks from cybercriminals.

"While more and more people use the Internet, [unfortunately] few are experts. The majority of users are easy targets for cybercriminals who are increasingly using social media and social engineering to illegally gain control of foreign computers and mobile devices," added Marko.

In an interview with ZDNet Asia to mark ESET's opening of its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore, CEO Anton Zajac commented that low boot time, speed and efficiency of its solutions also helped secure major clients such as Dell and Microsoft.

Established 18 years ago, ESET has offices in Bratislava and San Diego. While it has more than 11 exclusive distributors across 17 markets in Asia-Pacific and ranks as the top-selling security software in Hong Kong, the brand is relatively unknown in Singapore and many parts of Asia.

Marwan Chanawani, COO of the regional headquarters here, wants to plug this gap and create stronger brand awareness in these markets, including China, which he says has great growth potential.

The company will not employ a blanket strategy, but instead will look at the specific needs of each country and decide if it should penetrate the consumer or enterprise market.

With the presence of an Asia-Pacific office, the solutions company aims to provide more support for its distributors, as well as enhance its R&D division to tackle malware originating from this region.

ESET also has plans to set up a 24x7 technical help center here.

According to Chanawani: "Enterprises and consumers in Asia-Pacific are becoming more discerning about the IT security solutions they use as global and local network services and platforms become increasingly more complex and intertwined."

"The establishment of the Asia-Pacific office will allow us to increase our sales and marketing capabilities throughout the region, ahead of the launch of several new ESET products in 2010," he added.

Among them is a new security solution for Apple's Mac.

Known for its highly secure OS, Mac has escaped the radar of cybercriminals, but ESET's Marko said that this will not remain for long.

"No hardware or software is perfect, and with the Mac platform becoming more and more popular, cybercriminals will be looking at loopholes to launch attacks. We should be prepared for such incidences," he warned.

Mobile devices are at risk too, as they are constantly connected to the Internet, and like PCs, users are exposed to social engineering which cyber criminals often employ to hack systems and sieve information.

ESET currently has a large client base in western Europe and the United States, where corporate and government organizations make up 60 percent of their customers, the remainder being end-point consumers.

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