How to deal with occasional weird brain-fog.

One evening while browsing the internet and reading various blogs, I came across the revelations of a middle-aged businessman. He wrote how, outwardly, he was a successful, wealthy family-man – all good, supposedly; however, suddenly he lost all interest in work and life in general. Nothing whatsoever gave him pleasure any more. He seemed to be living on auto-pilot: simply carrying out daily life-functions as if he were some kind of bio-robot.

And what made this curiously interesting for me was that I realized that something like it had happened to me a few times for short periods.

Fortunately in my case, I managed to get over these days/weeks of the blues. I wonder if the businessman did? I hope so. But maybe he was suffering from something more serious like professional burn-out or clinical depression. Regarding such conditions there’s no advice I could give as I’m no doctor or therapist; however, regarding mere spells of lethargy and impassivity – just feeling down in the doldrums for while – I think and hope that just maybe my musings in this regard (particularly: how I pulled through each time) may be of help to you, dear readers, in case you ever feel the same…

I’ve fallen into a state of apathy similar to what the businessman described three (+1) times in my adult (35+) years. But before I get onto the first, here’s a pic with me in tired, fed-up mode! ->

// Btw: the video version of these musings is here.

The first time

Read on…

Our financial results – a ~sneak preview.

Hi folks!

As per usual, having only just seen off the previous year in blog format, it’s February already!

So here we are – in 2023; I wonder, will it continue the trend of being “roaring” – but not quite like the Roaring Twenties of last century? You know – first covid and the lockdowns, then you-know-what. Whatever next? I just hope there’s less roaring, and more… purring – and a lot less geopoliticism…

All this geopolitics, though – it has had one interesting effect on us here at K: it’s forced us out of our comfort zone. It made us adapt, quickly, to the new macro-reality we found ourselves in. We’ve been working harder than ever before – not quite in panic-mode, but not far from it, and we’ve ended up stronger, nimbler and smarter for it. Just as well – for who else is going to do much of the heavy-lifting in building the secure digital future we all deserve?!…

And all our hard work really has paid off: despite everything (though the official figures aren’t in just yet), we managed to maintain sales of our products practically at the same level as in 2021! Sure, we took hits in both North America and Europe, but those were made up for by boosts in all the other regions of the world. In a word: woahski.

// Photographic digression. Why? See the bold below… ->

So, like, how did we manage it? Two main ways really: first – because we’re awesome, obviously; second – we’re kinda getting used to thriving through ****storms! For let’s face it, they’re becoming the norm for us. Crisis management – what’s that? It’s simply “management” now ). Yes, of course we’d prefer calmer seas, without all the geopolitical thunderstorms we’ve zero control over. Instead the seas are as choppy as heck. So we adapt, we toughen up, we get our sea legs, and steer the ship as best we can to ride out the storm. What else can we do?…

Read on…

Flickr photostream

  • Japan / Jun 2024
  • Japan / Jun 2024
  • Japan / Jun 2024
  • Japan / Jun 2024

Instagram photostream

My annual review: the year – twenty twenty-two.

Hi, dearest readers of my modest blog (about business, travel, technology, cybersecurity, and a lot more besides that I consider interesting, pleasant, and sometimes even painful)!…

It’s somewhat unbelievable but… here we are already in mid-January 2023!

The year 2022 – oh my goodness: a tricky one, to say the least. What is it with this darn decade already anyway? First we had covid and lockdowns kicking things off; then, just as all that was finally coming to an end we get… you know what. For us here at K, that’s meant living and working amid a new reality. Tough as it’s been, we’ve managed to get out of our comfort zone, enter all-hands-on-deck mode, and overcome the new difficulties that get in the way of getting the important stuff done: building a secure digital world – despite the geopolitical s***storm that’s completely out of our control.

Still, for all its trickiness, I’d be fibbing if I were to say that 2022 didn’t feature also some great and memorable personal moments, like business trips around the world, meetings, conferences and spots of tourism, which – as per tradition now since 2011 – have been carefully logged on the e-pages of this here blog.

And now the time has come (also as per tradition (since 2014)) for my review of the highlights of the passing calendar year – mostly for me personally (+ some for the Kompany – but a dedicated post on those will follow shortly)…

If we don’t take into account online events, my schedule in 2022 wasn’t exactly the fullest, but at least it was a lot busier than full-covid 2020 and then post-covid 2021…

As per (yet another) tradition, I’ll start with my travel statistics:

The number of flights I took in 2022 was way down on my pre-covid ~centuries – in all just 60. This is around the number of flights I started taking way back in 2007-2008 when I first began practically living in a plane. Those 60 flights translate to around 240 hours up in the air last year. And as regards which airlines, I flew most of all on Aeroflot – 14 flights, then Etihad – 9, then Qatar Airways – 8. First-time flights were made on planes of both Egyptair and Royal Jordanian.

As to the number of countries I visited at least once: nine. Most were in the Middle East – three times in each of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey. South America featured too: Brazil and Chile:

My +1 countries for the year: Egypt and Jordan. They bring the total number of the countries I’ve visited in the world to 102. On the road I was in 20+ cities, staying in around 40 hotels (not including those we stayed at on our Magadan-Yakutsk-Baikal road trip).

Read on…

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“11 brave women skiing to the North Pole” – now in book format!

Hi folks!

Despite a non-stop whirlwind of business trips, meetings and conferences toward the end of the year, it’s always pleasant to be able to stop for a moment to share some good news about our friends! // And this isn’t an advert – it’s completely voluntary!…

The already legendary story about 11 bold women crossing the ice of the Arctic in 2018 as far as the North Pole (details – here), has taken a step skiing-stride further: it’s now in book form! Yes, a hardback book – “Polar Exposure” – all about their record-breaking adventure! And it’s already published. Hurray!…

As you can see, the author is our good old friend, the British explorer Felicity Aston. But the other skiers all share their accounts of the extraordinary expedition too.

So glad to see the legendary celebration of women’s perseverance take its next logical step for the whole adventure (with super photos!) to now be in print in a book :).

Hat: off.

Hands: clapping.

Champagne glass: raised!

PS: Curious polar-themed fact: in 2018 we were that last expeditioners (the women skied, we flew there!) at the North Pole! Why? Because: in 2019 – there were some kinda difficulties with renting a plane; in 2020-2021 – yep, you know; and in 2022 – you know that too…

Everest’s gone green!

Are heroes born or made?

Not a question that’s easy to answer. It’s a bit like what comes first – the egg or the chicken? Or, perhaps – the soul or the body? But one thing is clear: without hard work – often even pain – and indefatigable striving (read: understanding what you want to do and then actually doing it), you’ll get nowhere. Any talent needs to be developed. But is a capacity to develop a part of talent? Ooh, we’d best leave that to the philosophers; if we carry on down this rabbit hole in this post’s first paragraph, we may never reemerge from it!

Let’s make this easier on ourselves!…

We love heroes. But of course we do, for aren’t we – rejecting all false modesty – heroes ourselves for coming this far in a full quarter century?! From garage start-up to the coolest tech cybersecurity company the world has seen? Heroes change the world for the better, shape the future, and by their own example mobilize humanity toward ever greater victories for higher causes. Therefore, we have always supported and always will support special folks who share this ethos.

Remember Felicity Aston, who in 2012 with our support skied across Antarctica on her own? Then there was Olga Rumyantseva, who in 2013 completed her ascents of the highest volcanos of all seven continents. And of course there was the expedition of female skiers from all over the world to the North Pole in 2018 (in which both Felicity and Olga took part).

Fast-forward to this year, and we were assisting Olga again, this time in her ascent up to the highest point in the world – the peak of Mount Everest! And on May 17 – she did it! Today, Olga is still in the highest (!) of spirits after such a momentous feat, and is already thinking of her next adventure.

Read on…

A Kuarter of a century? Where did that go?!…

Hi folks!

25 years and nine days ago – on June 26, 1997 – the company that happens to have the same name as me was registered. And it was “humble beginnings” in the truest sense: around a dozen folks with zero turnover – but with some special tech-expertise and some equally special and veeeery ambitious plans. And we looked something like this:

Fast-forward two years to 1999 and there’s already around 40 of us ->

And that’s how it all started. // Btw: you can find out more details about our history here.

Twenty-five years – a quarter-century! – doing some great work! Based on our own world-beating antivirus engine, we developed breakthrough internet security products for home users. It didn’t always go smoothly, but we got there! There was our Ver. 6 – remember that? (And what a grandiose tale there is to tell there:) Then we gradually moved into the enterprise market, managing to develop some great products there too: first in the endpoint category, and then also network-traffic control, protection against targeted attacks and so on. Then we turned to protecting industrial objects. And now (without being too modest), I can say we’re the only company in the world that provides such a broad range of top-notch cyber protection: for user devices, workstations, server infrastructure and network traffic, as well as industrial control systems like SCADA. Moreover, we cover the widest range of operating systems and device types.

Read on…

Cybersoft IP vs K: yet another win against patent trolls.

Despite these hard times, we continue our work to save the world from all manner of cyber-maliciousness. Therefore, we’re not staying silent ->

Hi everyone!

Regular readers of this here blog of mine will have noticed how it’s been ages since the last time the patent-trolls tag has been put to good use (the last such post was about our victory against Uniloc, way back in March 2020 – yes, just as worldwide lockdowns were kicking in for the first time). Well, here, today – time for some patent-troll catch-up. And thank goodness, it’s good news – something that’s all the more appreciated these days…

We recently came to the end of a year of litigation proceedings with the U.S. patent troll Cybersoft IP, LLC. So that’s good news there. The even better news: we won!

So what did this particular troll want? What was its claim against us?

Well, it filed a lawsuit against us in April 2021 in the District Court of Massachusetts. In it, the troll took issue with our wonderful Kaspersky Secure Mail Gateway, claiming it infringed its patent (US6763467B1) covering a ‘network traffic intercepting method and system’ (specifically – network security technology that checks data transferred via a network (in particular, in emails and their attachments) on a user’s device).

The patent is for a method conducted within a single computer system connected to a network for intercepting, examining, and controlling all data – without exceptions – flowing via transport connections between the transport layer of an operating system and user applications, where the intercepted data is checked to see whether it can be scanned for unwanted content.

Basically, the patent relates to something resembling a personal firewall on a user’s computer device that intercepts and scans network data. The description of the patent, its claim, and also its figures [diagrams] all clearly confirm this. Thing is… such network-traffic filtration tech installed on a user’s device is not only well-known and widely-used tech – it’s also been available in the cybersecurity industry for years.

Read on…

Our 2021 patent-wise in review: the most U.S. patents, and many more around the world too.

Hi folks!

I simply must share this good, no – wonderful – news: we took out the most patents by any Russian-origin company in the U.S.A. in 2021! And we were a real trend-bucker, for in 2021 there was a fall of 7.5% in the number of patents registered in the country.

“In the annual patent ranking analysis published by IFI Claims Direct, Kaspersky has been named the top Russian company patented in the US with 43 patents published in 2021. Throughout its history the company has received 412 patents in the U.S. alone, with more than 1200 patents around the world, including Russia, the EU, China and Japan.”

// Btw: despite the overall fall in the number of patents issued last year, those issued for machine learning and quantum computing rose. This is just as quick reminder, in case you weren’t aware, of where this modern world is heading ).

A big thanks from me to all the team in our IP department. Always working hard, working smart, and working successfully (remember the victories over patent trolls, and the antitrust wins against Microsoft and Apple?). And a big thanks too to our developers who came up with our world-beating technologies in the first place – and that’s no mindless marketing hyperbole: our tech wins in independent tests more than any other. Oh da!

This super news about our patents got me thinking… Why don’t we take a closer look at our 2021 patent successes – not just the how many, but also the which, where, how and when? Yes, why not? After all, my patent-blogposts in the past have been popular. It’ll also be a nice complement to my 2021 review

All righty. Here we go!…

In 2021 we obtained 137 patents and applied for a further 76. This brings our totals to 1240 patents and 392 applications. Here are those figures added to our historical patent graph:

Read on…

Twenty-twenty-one: despite the odds – busy, successful and fun!

Happy New Year folks!

Sure, we’re already half-way through January 2022, but, as I think now most of you already know, the first week of the first month of every year is a week-off for everyone in Russia (apart from the unlucky few who keep the country, its roads, its supermarkets, etc., etc. running). Brief excuse regarding explanation of my seeming tardiness out the way, let me swiftly move on to another annual year-end/beginning tradition of mine: my review of the previous year!

Briefly, 2021 was… a busy and dynamic year (and in many different ways) for us as a Kompany, and no less busy and dynamic for me personally (no change there, then). And all things covid didn’t hold us back in any way – hurray! Wow – that was brief. More brevity – of a visual kind: simply three super pics taken in 2021 to lift your mood this winter’s day ) ->

Pole of Cold, Siberia:

Volcanism, Kamchatka:

And a tropical Christmas tree, Maldives:

Read on…

Red + green: shaken – not stirred!

As promised, herewith, my big announcement!…

But first, some background…

Nearly 12 years ago – in 2010, a youngish, green-colored company became a partner of a legendary global red-colored brand with more than 80 years of history to its name (incidentally, by doing so paving the way to other companies in the cybersecurity sphere).

In the intervening 11 years, both the worlds of cyberthreats and Formula-1 have changed tremendously. In the cyberworld, alas, things have changed for the worse. For example, cyberthreats to physical equipment ceased being the stuff of sci-fi and Hollywood blockbuster movies, to become real – daily – risks for organizations and businesses. That’s one reason why, since 2013, we’ve been protecting all of Ferrari’s digital kit – some 5000+ devices: from the industrial equipment at its plant in Maranello, to the computers of the engineers and mechanics at the racetracks around the world!

For fans, Formula One is all about speed, adrenaline and emotions, and for the folks providing the speed, adrenaline and emotions F1 is mostly all about massive volumes of data transferred in real time between the racing cars, the team of engineers in the garage at the track, and company HQ. On average, from just one car for a single race up to 200 gigabytes of data is sent from 150 sensors all over the car – and on the driver: for example, his biometric data is transmitted from sensors in his gloves!

Protecting such vast amounts of data and intellectual property while maintaining the continuity of a multi-billion-dollar business demands – you guessed right! – the best cyber-protection in the world. Thus, I’m very happy to announce that this year we’ve signed an agreement on extending our partnership with the Scuderia Ferrari team, and one ‘feature’ of this agreement is that our logo on the nose of the red race cars will continue to cross the finish lines of the world’s best tracks! Hurray!

Read on: ‘Just like absinthe + Campari’ (mind-blowing:)