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Antivirus. Free anti virus software. » eEye plans antivirus and free firewall

Sunday October 22, 2006 JST

eEye plans antivirus and free firewall

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eEye Digital Security Inc will move into closer competition with larger rivals including Check Point, Symantec and McAfee with forthcoming versions of its Blink endpoint security software.

The company will add antivirus to Blink, which started life as a host intrusion prevention system, and is planning to launch a free version of the software, albeit without the antivirus, which is being licensed from Norman AS.

eEye’s new chief executive Ross Brown told us the company’s strategy is to work as much host security functionality into Blink as it can, while at the same time not resorting to a “nickel and diming customers” pricing strategy of charging for each layer of functionality.

There are so many different types of host security product - antivirus,antispyware, firewall, application control, intrusion prevention, network access control, etc - that many believe they will all inevitably coalesce into a single deployable agent in most vendors’ cases.

Blink 2.5, the latest version, comprises application control, anti-phishing, network and application firewalls, buffer overflow protection, intrusion prevention, and removable media control.

But the company plans to go further, and outside its usual comfort zone, with the addition of antivirus and antispyware in Blink 3.0.

eEye’s product plans put it on the same trajectory as competitors such as McAfee and Symantec, which are working to reduce the number of security agents their customers need to deploy and manage on their endpoints.

But Ross said those companies’ pricing strategies involve adding license fees as functionality is added. eEye does not plan to charge extra when it adds, for example, antivirus, he said.

The antivirus will come later in the fourth quarter, in version 3.0 of Blink, Brown said. There will be “dynamic heuristics”, which detect virus-like behavior, as well as sandboxing and straightforward virus signatures courtesy of Norman, the Norwegian antivirus vendor.

Adding antivirus, now essentially a commodity, means eEye is coming at the endpoint security market from the opposite end to Symantec and McAfee, which added host intrusion prevention, application control, and other functions to their products after they had already built up large antivirus user bases.

Brown has fairly clear views on his competitors. McAfee is a sales company with decent marketing and technology, he reckons, while Symantec is a marketing firm with decent sales and engineering. He sees eEye as a company with strong engineering credentials and decent sales and marketing.

While his agenda appears to be raising eEye’s marketing profile beyond the fairly technical circles where its software already plays well, he denied the imminent launch of a free version of Blink is a direct marketing attack on rivals such as Check Point, which has a popular free desktop firewall with ZoneAlarm.

“I’m almost embarrassed to admit that the reason for releasing Blink for free is to solve an engineering problem, and not because we’re going after ZoneAlarm from a marketing perspective,” Brown said.

The reason, he said, is because “honeypots are broken… We’re seeing more targeted attacks. They’re trying to compromise 150 machines rather than thinking, How do I compromise one million?”

As all security vendors are saying, the days of the mass-mailing virus or otherwise rampant network worm appear to be over. Indiscriminate glory-boy vandals have been replaced with sophisticated criminals who so far appear to be always one step ahead of the security vendors.

They know that if their malware makes a big splash on the internet, it is only a matter of time before protection is available, so they’re getting more surrepticious.

If you can make a big pile of illicit cash compromising a couple hundred PCs here, a couple hundred PCs there, there really isn’t any need to spread an I Love You or a Slammer that would set off flashing red lights all over the internet, in the honeypots laid by the likes of eEye.

For this reason, Blink and its behavior-based zero-day attack detection will be free, so eEye can get data about new attacks from users who choose to anonymously participate. The company is calling it “neighborhood watch”, according to Brown.

“I’ll give you the corporate-level protection you need, that’s unobtrusive, that you don’t need to do anything weird with, and you give me data to make our protection better,” Brown said.

The free Blink will not include the antivirus or antispyware, he said, because those features are OEM’d, and eEye has to pay Norman when it gives its software to an end user. There will however likely be a free 90-day trial of those features, he said.

eEye is still privately held. Brown said the company is cashflow positive, but that it has yet to see the kind of annual revenue that would enable it to IPO - $80m to $100m, he reckons. That said, he reckons that an acquisition would be “not an easy buy” and would command a “large multiple.”

1 Comments so far

1. خرید کریو wrote on September 18th, 2015 at 11:33 pm

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خرید کریو

“[…]Antivirus. Free anti virus software. » eEye plans antivirus and free firewall[…]”

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