Internet privacy is a top security concern for users today: ESET

Features GITEX Interviews

Pradeesh VS, the General Manager at ESET Middle East speaks about the security threat landscape in the Middle East

Tell us about the technology trends have you seen in the Middle East and Africa market?
Since we are focused on IT security, we regularly monitor security trends – both globally and in the Middle East. In our report titled ‘Trends for 2014: The Challenge of Internet Privacy’ we found that ‘Internet privacy’ is emerging as the top security concern of businesses and internet users in the year ahead.

This is because the increased awareness about internet privacy in the wake of the NSA revelations. Other top trends that we foresee are the rise in cybercrime particularly relating to increasing malware on the Android mobile platform and the emergence of threats on non-traditional devices such as smart cars, game consoles and smart TVs.

Which ICT products are in demand in the MEA region?
With smart devices and low entry prices, faster internet connections and the abundance of cloud services- many of which are ad-supported and therefore free; users now have the opportunity to leverage technology like never before. Today, technology has penetrated every aspect of daily life and this is truly a blessing for end users. Sharing of content, keeping in touch with friends and family, managing services such as banking, shopping, payments etc have all become available at the touch of a button. Going forward, new technologies will emerge that will make technology even more ubiquitous.

There has been a lot of hype around smart wearable devices but I believe this market is till in its nascent stages. While Google glass has definitely received a lot of media traction, there is no hard and fast release date and the expected price tag of $600 would make this far from a mainstream product. Furthermore, consumers are still left in the lurch about what applications would be available on these wearable headsets. There is still a while to go before this technology sees wide acceptance in the consumer market.

Which technologies do you think are the most-wanted technologies in the MEA region for sectors such as enterprise, SMB and end consumers?
It is reassuring for vendors such as ESET that there has been a significant growth in the enterprise security solutions market in the region. According to reports, the Middle East Network Security market is expected to experience a growth rate of more than 18 percent between 2012 and 2018.

One of the driving factors behind this is that the overall IT market in the region is growing- the Middle East expenditure on Information Technology (IT) is expected to cross $20 billion this year, which represents a growth rate of over 10 percent year on-year. With security playing such a pivotal part of today’s IT infrastructures, it is no surprise then that the increase in ICT deployments has also meant a big growth of the security solutions market.

We are seeing good growth in the sectors like Education, Government, Hospitality & Manufacturing. Positive momentum in the Middle East for these segments has also resulted in better traction. Also, the recent spate of attacks targeted at Middle East organizations has resulted in an increase in the overall security awareness of the region.

What do you plan to achieve through GITEX Technology Week and GITEX Shopper this year? Can you please share your plans?
GITEX is the biggest IT exhibition in the region, and our strong participation will be vital to highlighting our commitment to both customers and partners in the region.

Mobile security has taken precedence for ESET since the Middle East is a particularly active market- both in terms of the sophistication and volume of mobile devices used and the threats that users face. Smartphone usage is set to rise and take on an increasingly prominent role in driving productivity, collaboration and convenience, for personal as well as business purposes. We want to give our customers the tools they require to utilize these devices to their maximum potential without having to worry about mobile viruses, trojans, phishing and data leakage due to loss or theft.

Do you plan to launch any new products or technologies at GITEX Technology Week and GITEX Shopper this year?
We will launch version 8 of our ESET Smart Security and ESET NOD32 Antivirus solutions. The latest version of ESET’s Smart Security solution is designed to be the fastest, most effective and most proactive antivirus and antispyware software. It is capable of eliminating viruses, spyware, adware, worms, trojans, rootkits and other malware before they attack systems.

Most prominently, the software boasts low resource utilization and a high scanning speed making it an ideal choice for heavy users and gamers. The solution also features an Advanced Memory Scanner, Vulnerability Shield and Improved Cleaning that will eliminate extremely persistent malware and rootkits and stop heavily-encrypted threats.

Do you have plans to conduct raffle draws, give away gifts and so on for end consumers this year?
Our main attraction for end customers is aimed at deepening their social media engagement with us. ESET has an interesting app called ‘ESET Augmented Reality BETA’ which allows users to take a picture with our famous Android mascot. We will encourage end users to use this app at our stand and then share this via social media. Every day, we will select a winner from these participants and give them a grand prize. We will also give away free trail licenses to our antivirus products and also fun freebies such as stress balls, t-shirts, pens, and so on.

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Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is easily excited by the smallest of technologies around. He is an Android fanboy at heart, who also owns an iPhone, a Windows Phone, and a BlackBerry. Though he uses a MacBook Pro at work, he also uses a Windows PC, an Xbox One and an Xbox 360 for all his gaming requirements. True gadget lover at heart!