Kaspersky has been shortlisted for two gongs at this year’s V3 Technology Awards: Best Enterprise Security Product and Best Business Security Provider.
V3 spoke to Kirill Slavin (pictured), general manager at Kaspersky, about how the firm feels to be nominated, how this year has been for the company, and what he expects to emerge as the biggest security threats in 2016.
Slavin also told us about the company's focus on the enterprise market, a move that is paying off for Kaspersky more than the firm had expected.
How does it feel to be nominated for two V3 awards this year?
We're prone to accolades and prizes, but V3 is something special to us. The sort of organisations and people we’re speaking to respect and understand the publication. That’s why it’s an important award for us.
It’s quite brilliant, actually. V3 commands so much respect in the market that it means business success for us. It’s not just academic for us.
How was 2015 for Kaspersky?
2015 was quite good for Kaspersky. We are successfully moving into the enterprise space. In the third quarter, our enterprise sales were 73 percent higher year on year. This kind of growth is just fantastic, and I didn’t believe it until I saw it. Going forward, we expect to grow like hell in the enterprise space.
What challenges did the business face this year?
The biggest challenge has been that customers, both enterprises and small to medium-sized businesses, are more demanding than ever in terms of us understanding their business. They demand that we understand their top line, their costs, and then, and only then, do we talk cyber protection.
For example, we approached a major high-street bank, and for the first hour we weren’t talking about security, we were talking about their customer experience. We discussed whether customers need to have these ugly devices in their pocket to make transactions, or could do so with just the swipe of a finger. It offers a very different, more friendly customer experience, and if a customer's life is easier, they will flock to you.
We still feel like a startup, we still think innovation. This is the new requirement of the market, especially in the enterprise space.
We'll then discuss legacy costs such as branches. Banks would love to close all of their branches but they can't, as in many cases they need them to authenticate customers.
Then, and only then, do we come to discuss cyber security protection. We’ll explain that we can add something to a business' top line, make customers’ lives easier and even add some 'cool' into the company, and would do all of that while protecting the company. Everything will be protected to the same degree. We don’t compromise on security.
What trends does Kaspersky expect to see in the security market in 2016?
What’s going to be really different I think, is the mobile threat space. Mobile threats have been on the rise for a long time, and now, interestingly, the banks are going big in the mobile space, and I expect this to become a target moving forward.
There is no crystal ball, so nobody knows what will be the next disruptor. For example, I don’t expect Apple Pay to be a disruptor in the security market. While I expect disruption in the payments space as a whole within the next two to three years, I don’t think it’s going to be Apple Pay as it keeps itself off other platforms. It always comes unexpectedly.
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