Q&A: Eugene Kaspersky on taking on the big boys

Kaspersky's chief executive tells IT PRO about how his company plans to climb the security ladder, toppling the likes of Symantec and McAfee along the way.

Many companies have enough resources. [But] not all of them are able to use [these resources] in the right way. Their goal is to have products and functionality which are then copied by others.

Our strategy is to become number four, then number three, then number two, then number one.

We want to keep the spirit of innovation, to stay a private company and also to [learn from others'] mistakes.

What role will restructuring play in this strategy?

We restructure the company once every three or four years. If you want to have a good soup, you have to mix it.

The last time we restructured the company in 2007/2008, we used the structure to develop our global presence. We managed to introduce our business and develop our partner network everywhere around the world.

Now it's time to be more focused not on territorial expansion but to grow our business and our products and services in every territory. We've learned from every positive and negative from our past and decided to try the next structure.

You talked about mobile becoming more prominent. What does this mean for the future of Windows as the dominant operating system?

I believe that very soon, in two maybe three years, Google Android will dominate the market for operating systems on mobile devices.

Our generation, we are not young people, we are conservative. The new generation, the young people, they are mobile.

The future design of the IT environment will be split into two categories the home environment which is mobile and mostly Android based, and the corporate environment with Windows-based PCs, plus mobile. Everyone in the corporate environment has smartphones.

We've seen big some successes from law enforcement recently, such as significant botnet takedowns. What is Kaspersky doing in this space?

We're are cooperating with cyber police departments in different countries.

It's not about a Big Brother, we just want more regulation to stop the bad people on the internet. It is better to do it on an international level because the internet doesn't have borders.

After Stuxnet, we have a call for more secure environments for critical systems, to have military standards there.

With IT security standards for critical systems, there is almost no regulation, only for military systems. I am afraid of nuclear research and new types of energy experiments which are sometimes connected to the internet. That's really scary.

Surely the answer is to not connect these systems to the internet?

It is possible to damage the systems if they are not connected. The most easy way is you just drop a yellow or red USB in an elevator and that's it or in the lunch room.

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