With the growing risks to valuable data and information, it has become essential for businesses, governments and individual users of computers and devices to deploy tools to minimise cyber threats. Founded in 1997, Kaspersky Lab is a Russian multinational antivirus and cyber security firm which has been providing security solutions and services to its clients across the globe. Kasperesky Lab has been distributing its products in Nepal in partnering with Sagar Group. The group is the authorised distributor of Kaspersky products in the country for the last 10 years. Shivshankar Kharade, B2C tangible sales manager of Kaspersky Lab India, South Asia Territory Office, was recently in Nepal on a business visit. He has more than 12 years of experience in the antivirus industry. New Business Age talked to Kharade about the situation of cyber security in Nepal and the company’s activities here. Excerpts:
What brings you to Nepal?
I came here to explore business opportunities, scale up the business, find out challenges, the company’s position and track down growth opportunities in the market.
How do you view the situation of cyber security in Nepal? How secured are the networks of public and private institutions as well as PC and mobile devices of individual users here?
Any PC or office network connected to the internet is vulnerable. The rate of internet penetration in Nepal is increasing. So, there are a lot of scopes for a company like Kaspersky to provide its services to the internet users. A large number of people use their smart phones for bank transactions. They also use it to connect to people through social media which makes them vulnerable to personal data theft. People should be aware of the usage of genuine antivirus software on their mobile devices and PCs.
What benefits are there for users of Kasperesky products and subscribers of its services over other antivirus and cyber security brands?
Kaspersky ensures its users that they are always protected from cyber threats. Our products are rightly priced for the Nepali market. We have demos of the software that can be downloaded on users’ devices if they want a trial before using our products.
The Kasperesky Antivirus 2018 edition was launched in Nepal in late 2017. What are its key features and how it is being received here?
Our products are widely accepted in Nepal. Users know what they are using and we are also running awareness campaigns on the social media and at events and expos from our end. The product has key features like device protection, simplicity, access to secured financial transaction, parental control and safe files.
In this ever advancing world of information technology, new threats constantly emerge after existing threats are contained. What are the major global trends in cyber threats currently?
The number of malicious software for Android has significantly increased by 1,800 percent since 2011. Internet of Things (IoT)-connected devices, mobile phones and institutional attacks are the major global trends in cyber threats currently.
How is Kasperesky prepared to minimise the risks posed by such threats?
We have three variants- Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Kaspersky Internet Security and kaspersky Total Security. They safeguard the PC and all the precious things people store in it, protect the user when they surf, socialize and shop on PC, Mac, android devices and give you the power to protect users’ family on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad and android. We have safe banking features for banking transactions from mobiles and PCs.
How important is Nepal’s market for your company? How has been Kasperesky’s partnership with Sagar Group?
The Nepali market is very important for us because it is growing with increasing internet penetration. Sagar Group has been a fantastic partner for the last 10 years. They have helped us grow in consumer market by putting effort in technical support to consumers and educate the end users. They are doing great and we expect them to continue doing this to grow our business to the second level.
What plans do you have for Nepal?
We want to explore four business verticals- government, manufacturing, education and telecommunication - and introduce solutions. We want to introduce Kaspersky Safe Kids targeted at home users and safety of children having access to the devices with internet. It controls the content accessed by children on the internet.