Securing Against the Malware Torrent

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rahul Neel Mani

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As cloud computing makes inroads around the globe, new security issues keep emerging. In an exclusive conversation, Juan Santana, CEO of Spain-based Panda Security shares his thoughts with CTO Forum's Dominic K...

Q:How has the global information security market evolved in Spain in the last couple of years?

A: The market has evolved positively, not just because security is now a commodity both for companies and home users, but also because, despite the recession, the market has grown.

When times are hard, people tend to protect what is really important or valuable. Consequently, in Spain, the traditional security market has grown between seven percent and 10 percent, in line with analysts’ forecasts.

I also believe that over the last two years there have been major advancements in terms of the quantity and quality of new protection technologies. There's no doubt that the most significant development has been the new model wherein security solutions offer protection from the cloud.

We too have introduced similar products in the market. Although we are still in the adoption phase of these new technologies, we have already witnessed a positive reaction from the market and migration from traditional security solutions has started.

This has been the case around the world, with minor differences in the speed of adoption, depending on the technological maturity of the market in question. In this area there hasn’t been a great deal of difference between Spain and other European countries. Perhaps Spain has been a bit slower in this adoption process, but following the main trend nonetheless.

Q:How do you compare Indian security trends with those in Spain?

A: Market trends are initiated by the most mature markets, such as India, a country with a great tradition in technology. There are some markets where the adoption is quicker, as is the case with some of the Indian enterprises where there are highlyskilled technicians and researchers.

Moreover, India is a relatively small market, compared with some others, but it is growing fast. According to Gartner, the Indian market currently has more than USD140 million of potential and it is the fastest growing cloud computing market in the Asia Pacific Region.

Analysts say that by 2012, India-centric IT service companies through their cloud service offerings will represent 20 percent of the leading cloud aggregators in the market.

If you compare this data with Spain, the opportunities in the Indian market are bigger, even after accounting for India's larger size.

Q:What according to you is the state of cloud-based security?

A: Cloud-based solutions have adapted to the way the antivirus industry has changed and evolved in recent years. In 2001, we barely received 15 new viruses every day.

The Internet boom as also the fact that hackers have now turned very professional has led to the emergence of a highly lucrative criminal business model that has created a situation wherein security companies now have to deal with more than 55,000 viruses every day.

This is a challenge that has been addressed in different ways.

We always had a strong commitment to technological innovation. As far back as 2006  we realised that traditional security systems would be unable to keep our clients protected against the vast and increasing amount of malware in circulation.

So we developed and launched what we call Collective Intelligence, an automatic system able to detect, analyse, classify and disinfect 99.4 percent of all new malware we receive at PandaLabs, our global anti-malware laboratory.

With this system we resolve two problems: on the one hand we are able to protect, practically in real time, our corporate and domestic users from the vast amount of new threats that appear every day, and it has also allowed us to develop and launch the first solutions to deliver protection from the cloud, consuming less than 50 percent of the resources used by traditional solutions.

We have responded directly to real market needs and been innovative while developing the solutions. Throughout the company’s 20-year history, there have been plenty of examples of leading the way.

Q:What are the latest technology trends in security space?

A: I agree with Gartner regarding the latest technology trends in the security space, as well as with its predictions on which ones will be more relevant for the near future. According to Gartner, the technologies that will undergo the most radical transformation in the next five years will be Web 2.0, cloud computing, Internet TV, virtual worlds and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA).

Regarding security itself, cloud computing is one of the 1,650 technologies that will define future trends. It is clear that cost optimisation is the main driving factor behind clients opting for IT services hosted in the cloud. That’s why it is one of the technologies expected to mature most rapidly and to attract many new players into the arena.

There will be a clear migration in the industry towards cloud computing and more specifically the SaaS model delivery. In fact, it is predicted to grow at around 40 percent for the coming years.

Also we do believe that all the security add-ons, such as protection related to data leakage, ID corporate protection, etc., that traditional products are currently including, will also shift to the cloud.

Cross-posted from CTO Forum

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