Kaspersky Lab: From Russia with Anti-virus
Industry Background: Software Security
Cybercrime has become a fast growing concern for the 21st century as businesses, institutions and individuals grow into an interconnected web of computer networks. Online business transactions, along with the sharing of personal information, are vulnerable to a host of disasters that can reap economic and social havoc. Some sources say that today, cybercrime costs more than $1.0 trillion to society--Global Industry Analysts, Inc. forecasted the world cyber security market to reach $80 billion by 2017 (Gale, 2011). Chief concerns for this Industry are: Internet-based fraud, sophisticated viruses, illicit network access, and computer network sabotage. Software security includes issues such as accidental disclosures caused by flawed or debugged programs and the active or passive infiltration of computer systems Active infiltration includes activities such as obtaining unauthorized information fusing legitimate system access, gaining access through improper means of obtaining identification, or unauthorized physical access in order to gain access to systems. Passive infiltration includes wiretapping on data communications lines or databases and using concealed devices to transfer data in computers, databases, or data communications lines. (Gale, 2011) Historically, information technology has had only basic security at best and highly vulnerable to attacks. In an effort to ward off cyber threats and capitalize from it, computer security companies began to market a wide range of services and products to prevent sabotage and unauthorized computer use. These security applications include virus detection and removal software, firewall support, encryption software, intrusion detection and analysis software, security consulting services, and even devices for user authentication (Gale, 2011). Security software is a high growth market and is so mainly as a result of rapid technological advances in recent years. At the same rate, cybercriminals develop new ways to exploit vulnerable new systems. According to industry analyst Gartner, the global software security market should exceed $16.5 billion in 2010, up from $14.8 billion in 2009 (Gale, 2011). Industry leaders:
Symantec is a giant security software firm founded in 1982 and is now headquartered in Cupertino, California. The company grew as a result of acquiring smaller, niche market software vendors. During the early 90s, Symantec acquired IBM’s and Intel’s anti-virus operations along with AXENT Technologies’ risk assessment and intrusion detection products. The emerging Internet market during that time led Symantec to muscle its way for increased market share through a series of acquisitions of rival companies. In 2004, Symantec partnered with Earthlink Inc., an internet service provider to gain market share by offering online subscription services. Symantec then followed a trail of mergers and acquisitions and reported record revenues in 2009 for $6.15 billion and was employing 17,100 people. The company offers products and services that protect computer systems from viruses, detect intrusion by unauthorized network users, and allow users to manage their systems remotely. Top selling products include: Norton Antivirus and Norton Utilities suites. (Gale, 2011; Symantec.com, 2011)
McAfee, another leading software Company, is based out of Santa Clara, California. McAfee started in 1997 under Network Associates. Originally, its anti-virus products were offered as shareware that enabled McAfee to gain key enterprise security systems accounts. In 1998, McAfee.com was created as a dedicated consumer virus detection site. The company aggressively penetrated the intrusion detection market in early 2000 with the acquisition of rival companies—following Symantec in a similar path. In only 4 years, the company owned 15.3% of the...