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Q&A: Kaspersky Lab's Eugene Kaspersky

Kaspersky Lab founder Eugene Kaspersky tells why the software industry could be losing its brightest stars to the world of online crime

by Phil Muncaster

As chief executive of anti-malware firm Kaspersky Lab, you recently predicted that your firm could become the leader in endpoint security. How long will this take?

Eugene Kaspersky: Well, we have the technology, we have the resources and the ambition, so before I'm retired we will be number one, or simply the major player here.

The anti-virus industry has changed, and in 15 years this industry and my target will be different. But the most important thing is the technology: some cyber criminals are stupid, but there are some technically well-educated people and our challenge is to fight them.

What other factors will contribute to your success?

We're big enough now to attract people, and experts are coming to us and asking us about co-operating. And then there's the partner network, which is very loyal to the company. We don't just see it as a cash cow, but a part of the team. So it's the technology, the people and the partners.

Is it getting more difficult to attract the best people to fight for you in this 'arms race'?

A key factor in our success is not just built on employees working for money they are a team looking for success

Eugene Kaspersky Kaspersky Lab

Yes, it's very difficult to find the right people. We need to find innovative people, but we're just not in a position to, because people recognised as innovative are well paid and stay in the company they are in.

So we have a strong education programme in our company to [train our staff]. And it's the same finding experts in different countries in Germany we looked for the right person for one to two years.

And as the quality of our products and services goes up to the next level, so we request people of a different level with higher experience. And the education system is good in Russia, so the people we find there are good enough and we inject them with the spirit of the company. A key factor in our success is not just built on employees working for money they are a team looking for success.

How do you think the current financial meltdown will affect the industry?

The financial crisis is changing the world very seriously. There will be more unemployed software engineers because start-ups will be closing down as there will be less investment in IT. You can read it in the news there will be a lot of unemployed software engineers and some will go into cyber crime and we can expect more load on the malware companies to develop protection.

This will also mean there is not enough space for the cyber criminals, so some will move into areas like Mac and smartphone malware. And some security firms will disappear, but security is still generally a safe area because people will always pay for food, security and entertainment.

Where should responsibility lie for securing the internet?

In my dreams responsibility would lie with governments, not just national governments but a world government, to establish a more secure internet and better regulation of the networks.

They already regulate transport networks, water networks and electricity networks so why not the internet? Governments should implement regulations, but I think they'll pay more attention to financial problems right now than internet security.




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