Antivirus (AV) software vendors are taking it on the chin these days. Not only are there more sophisticated attacks than ever, but the quality of free AV software is getting better with each passing day. As a result, many customers are trying to understand whether AV software is critically important enough to pay for, while at the same time wondering which AV vendor provides the best protection.
Chris Doggett, newly promoted senior vice president for North American sales for Kaspersky Lab, says customers have intellectual assets that, if lost or compromised, would materially damage the business. These customers need a vendor that stands behind that software over the long haul. It’s those customers, maintains Doggett, who appreciate the importance of an AV vendor that is not only investing in AV technology, but also has the skills and resources needed to identify new threats.
To drive that point home, Kaspersky Lab recently released Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business, which the company says makes comprehensively managing security for smartphones, tablets and PCs a whole lot simpler to manage.
Doggett says there is no better example of what Kaspersky can do in the way of security intelligence than the effort the company put into Operation Red October, for which its researchers are being credited with identifying as a cyber-espionage campaign targeting diplomatic, governmental and scientific research organizations for at least the past five years.
It’s that kind of investment in security research that Doggett says ultimately distinguishes Kaspersky from providers of AV software that may be able to identify a type of malware, but not the full extent to which that particular piece of malware is being used to compromise business systems. Besides, Doggett notes that more than a few of those AV vendors are simply using a free AV offering as way to bait customers into paying for the commercial version of their AV software later.
As is often the case in life and in IT, you get what you pay for. At the same time, what you’re protecting needs to be important enough to warrant the cost. Otherwise, free AV software may indeed be just good enough.