Secunia is one of the most highly respected security companies, and chief executive Niels Henrik Rasmussen took time to talk to V3.co.uk about his company's plans to make better security an option for everyone, without charging for it.
When we saw you here last year the stand was tucked away in the back corner, but you're here in force this year. What are your hopes for the show?That's right [laughs] last year we were close to the toilets so we got a lot of people passing but they weren't in a mood to stop and chat. We've not been selling anything this show. It's more of an exercise to show the US market who we are and a chance to meet interesting people. The bulk of our business is done outside the US, apart from some government work, but we've big plans for the US. We'll have offices out here next year and are laying the groundwork.
At the show you announced that Secunia is to
away patch management software for free. What's the thinking behind that?
We tech savvy users know how to patch. But what about our mums and dads? Anyone should be able to just open a laptop and very simply protect themselves, so that's why we're developing this software. It's a big investment for us but it's good to build something that'll be valuable to the technology community. Basically it's code that, once downloaded, scans your system and checks that all the applications are patched properly. Then it can download the patches you need and install them so you're as secure as you can be. But, importantly, it's not intrusive.
Sounds good. When will it be available?
We're doing the beta testing from April onwards and should be ready to go live in September. We've got a pool of over two million users for our products and actively solicit their feedback. Sometimes we think we've got it right and the customers tell us that's not so, and in that case we make changes.
The past 12 months have been pretty grim for the IT industry,
although security has held up better than most. How have things been for
It has been a tough year, and it isn't over yet. The world financial crisis is still expanding but we've come through the past 12 months well. We've doubled the number of our employees, revenues are up 50 per cent and we're already having our most successful quarter, and it isn't over yet.
So what's your secret?
Word or mouth, and press attention. We've built up a two million strong user base with zero marketing budget because we give people what they want but also listen to what they tell us. That's the best way to build business.
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