Romanian based BitDefender, a division of SOFTWIN, was founded in Bucharest in 2001. Today the company has taken its line of security software global, providing superior threat management to more than 41 million home and corporate users in more than 100 countries. The company isn’t just for vampires either (as my father’s side of the family hails from Romania I can make that joke), and today has offices in the United States, Romania, Germany and Spain. BitDefender’s multi-level security solutions garnered a PC World “#1 Best Buy" in March of 2006.
Global Communication Manager Vitor Souza spoke to us about where the company is headed and how it stays one step ahead of the bad guys.
Bright Hub: Currently what does BitDefender see as the greatest potential online threats to a small business users today? Is there one particular issue that is especially worrisome small businesses?
Vitor Souza: Today's threats are mostly web-centric and the dangers a company face are two-fold. One face of the coin is that using web services for work exposes employees' systems to all sorts of harm. This is especially true of small businesses, as they are much more likely to use things like Google Docs or the various collaboration frameworks available for free on the web. The risks of compromise (usually via e-threats inadvertently downloaded from the Web) are great, and they are further compounded by the fact that small firm can't always choose who it works with and on what terms - a (small business) client's corporate intranet you've been given limited access to for a contract might be teeming with viruses, for instance. The other face of the coin is in fact the public face of the company. Many, if not most, small businesses operate a website or more. These tend to be designed and built by the lowest bidder, rather poorly maintained and present a real risk of compromise. A business may end up inadvertently infecting visitors of its website, if precautions aren't taken.
BH: Given the economy there are probably many businesses that are trying to stretch resources and no doubt this includes computers and even operating systems. So do you see any added challenges for small business users that might be running multiple operating systems, given that many companies might still be making the leap from Windows XP to Windows Vista?
VS: Many companies are in fact holding on to XP for dear life. A significant investment of time, effort and money has typically gone into deploying XP-only networks, XP is stable, reliable (by Windows world standards) and requires exactly zero investment in new hardware, staff re-training and software. While this is all well and good from a business perspective, Windows XP suffers from documented security design flaws, which have not and will not be fixed. Either alternative (Linux or Vista) is somewhat better in this respect but again, the cost of switching may be larger than the perceived risk cost. The risks are real, however, so our company will continue to provide XP versions of our software for as long as the system itself remains in active use in significant numbers, as well as ensure interoperability with the rest of our product range. We provide solutions that can work well in a mixed Windows-Linux environment, and have released Vista versions of our products as well. The software is there for any choice or mix of operating systems a client might wish to deploy.