11.11: Twenty years to the day!

Greetings boys and girls!

Suddenly – we’ve another jubillee. Hurray!…

Our cyber-immune operating system – KasperskyOS – is today… wait. No, that’s not quite correct…

Exactly 20 years ago – on November 11, 2002 – we began a long, hugely significant journey; a journey we’re in fact still on. A large, grandiose project that will change (and is already changing!) so much in the global cybersecurity domain. And that’s not hyperbole folks – it’s for real. And to get the full (hi)story of our cyber-immune OS, we need to go back to its humble beginnings in the early 2000s…

But before I go back 20 years, let me say a few words about today – November 11, 2022. Everyone today (besides the cave-dweller) understands perfectly well the critical importance of cybersecurity. Trillions of dollars are spent today on treating the symptoms of cyber-disease, but hardly any on dealing with its root causes. And the only way to break the cycle of constant Band-Aiding those symptoms is an overhaul of the architecture of computer systems, no less. Agree? Yes? Good, and thank you!…

The first time I’d gotten an inkling about this was even earlier than 20 years ago – in the fall of… 1989! For it was then when my PC became infected with the Cascade virus, which got me all curious and prompted me to start developing protection against it and all other cyber-contagion.

Thus, curiosity killed the cat was the start of everything for us. It was why our –V anti-virus first appeared, later why Kaspersky Lab was founded, and later still why we expanded right around the globe.

Fast-forward a full 12 years after Cascade, and my understanding of the imperfection of existing operating systems and the urgent need to do something about it finally, let’s say, crystalized, and came to the surface on a practical level (apologies for this perhaps seemingly over-detailed history tree, but it is, after all, our heritage:)…

Read on…

Innoprom: third time – and still lucky!

The other week I found myself at Innoprom-2022 – the industrial exhibition in Yekaterinburg. I’d been twice before – in 2017 and 2021 – and, come this year, I can now say that it’s progressed well.

I was there for just one day, and was as busy as a bee – as per the template. Still – I did manage to find the time to take a few pics of some of the more intriguing stands and exhibits…

But, first – it wasn’t the exhibits or stands that impressed most of all. Can you guess what did? Have a look at the following photo. Got it?…

Masks no longer needed. Hurray! Away with you, maddening muzzles! Yes, the virus has weakened, immunity has risen, and the situation is (seemingly, mostly) under control. Let’s hope it stays that way. And I’m sure it will. After all, mega-awful mutants tend to visit us every ~50 years: there was the Spanish flu in 1918–1920, then the Hong Kong flu in 1968–1970, and then of course corona in 2020–2021 (yes, there’ve been other virus pandemics, but they came and went much less noticeably). Anyway, no matter: the latest semi-centennial pandemic – done and dusted!

Right. Next thing to impress? Actually – it wasn’t impress, it was more depress. Just look at these lines to get into the event! Folks had to wait sometimes over an hour. Nope. Sorry: organizers – get a grip. This won’t do at all. Sort it. // I was lucky: as a speaker I entered through a designated door without having to wait.

Once inside – first thing’s first: head over to our stand, where I had my first meeting scheduled. And here we are! ->

Read on…

Flickr photostream

  • Seychelles / Jan 2023
  • Seychelles / Jan 2023
  • Seychelles / Jan 2023
  • Seychelles / Jan 2023

Instagram photostream

A big LEAP for Saudi Arabia.

My first international business trip of the year was as modest as it could get – with just a single port of call. But that port of call was sunny Riyadh, which sure made a welcome change to the sub-zero temperatures and daily snow that’s been falling in Moscow since November!…

I’d been to the city before – in 2013 and 2014 – and both times for conferences, speeches and meetings, and with hardly any micro-tourisms. This year – zero micro-tourisms; not even a nano-tourism. As per – the business schedule was a full and busy one, including matters connected with the imminent opening of our local office here (which I’ll get to in another post). Alas, it was so busy… – zero nice photos too. Apologies folks. My excuse? You’ve got to work hard!

What I remember most from my two first trips to Saudi was that practically all the folks I’d meet would say the same thing: without a serious transformation in the country there’s no future for it in the modern world. To be honest, back then I was a little amazed by the boldness of such statements, but now I see that wasn’t just talk. Changes have been made, and though they’re not big changes, they are noticeable. First of all, public transportation is being built! Earlier there was no such thing: Riyadh was strictly car-only. Today there are overhead transportation lines. No trains yet, but things are looking good ->

Read on…

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Partner Konferences: finally back – and in Dubai, no less.

Unlike most folks, I was lucky enough to be traveling again recently (jabbed, boosted, masked and social distancing, of course:) – this time to Dubai, one of my fave places on the planet, to which I normally get to at least once a year (during non-covid times). This year’s visit, however, was a little different…

First impressions upon arriving: another empty airport, just like others I’ve been in recently.

Second impressions: yikes – more deserted emptiness. A city seemingly half-alive – a bit like Barcelona in June of this year.

Third impression: actually, it’s not all bad; for example, going from the airport’s Terminal 1 to the business reception/meeting zone, I had a full long carriage on the monorail to myself! ->

And there were only one or two folks in the next carriage too…

Read on…

Fully-vaxxed Sochi conference: a shot in the arm for industrial cybersecurity.

Personal experience, plus what I’m told by other clever folks, has taught me to treat with much skepticism any predictions regarding the future given by so-called experts – in fact all kinds of prognoses and prophesies about this, that and the other. Although I tend to share this view, I have to make an exception for the predictions of one single person in particular: me! Why? Because, unfortunately, those predictions normally come true…

Ten years ago, when we chose industrial cybersecurity as one of our new main areas for development of the company, attacks on industrial equipment were largely deemed hype and/or something out of Hollywood, or at least limited to relatively few specific enterprises; for example, ones like this. But since the beginning of the 2010s I’ve been repeating (ad nauseam!) that, sooner or later, attacks on industrial installations will go mainstream and become massive in scale, and that modern industrial security is sadly very lacking in its ability to cope with the realities of the digital world.

Today, attacks on industrial objects are becoming a daily – very expensive – reality. We’ve already seen how a ransomware-cyberattack on a mere office network of large pipeline can bring about a short-term rise in the price of gasoline in the U.S.A. So imagine how much more costly attacks on industrial components of critical infrastructure operators could be. And it’s not just a matter of financial losses incurred by targeted companies caused by their compelled down time – there’s also the hit taken by all the consumers of the companies’ products and services, which can be painful for regional economies and even national ones.

Read on…

Jabby Birthday! 24 years and Kounting…

We have a long tradition of celebrating the Kompany’s birthday in the middle of July every year. I say every year – indeed it was every year since 1997 – but, alas, last year we had to break from tradition, for obvious reasons. But that only made us all the more keen to bounce back to normal this year, continuing where we left off in 2019 – with a big bang!

It was touch and go, of course, whether it would go ahead at all this year given the ongoing… situation, but in the end – yeh! So on July 16, again on a bank of the river Volga at a hotel complex in the countryside outside Moscow, it was time to party: party hard, party fun (as we always do), and this year – party safe!

‘But, like… what? There’s a global pandemic still raging!’, I can hear some of your say…

Hold your horses. Back up a bit, and here’s a bit more on ‘partying safe’…

Read on…

Innoprom in Yekaterinburg: another sign of business life returning to normal.

After a year+ hiatus, business life is finally slowly returning to normal. Hurray! Recent indicators of this: the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the IT Forum in Khanty-Mansiysk, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and just the other day I returned from the Innoprom International Industrial Fair in Yekaterinburg.

So what can I say? First: it’s much more modest in scale than the gigantic proportions of something like Germany’s Hannover Messe – both in terms of the overall quantity of products on show, and also the variety. All the same, there was plenty to look at ->

Read on…

MWC @ Barcelona – down, but not out!

Hi folks!

And now, after yesterday’s mostly miserable post, a positive one!…

This year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona actually went ahead! Hurray!

And I was there in person! Hurray!

And I spoke up on stage! Hurray!

And I gave a slew of interviews to international media! Hurray!

And some ‘fans’ of mine asked for autographs selfies! Grrr. Joke!

Last year, being all 2020, MWC was cancelled. The world’s largest mobile event just didn’t happen; imagine?!

This year – despite the lingering 2020ness (still some closed borders, plenty of restrictions still in place, traveling difficulties, and the conservative conduct of many companies) – the show went on, as it must!

Read on…

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for hackers in today’s geopolitical cyberspace.

One morning last week I bounded up onto a stage to make a speech, and the first thing I told everyone was literally: “How happy I am to see you all here!” But of course I was, since I – like most everyone else – am just soooo tired of this long-drawn-out corona-covid saga. I want a return to normality and to be able to get back to my customary rhythm of conferences, exhibitions, and assorted other business activities (preferably without a tie). And as if my prayers were answered – here was one such event, which happened to be one of our own: our annual Kaspersky Security Day 2021

So what can I say?… That folks clearly missed such kind of meets. Who was there? Everyone! Just short of 200 guests in person, and more than 500 followed the live broadcast online.

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Happy 14th Birthday, FanKlub!

Once upon a time, long ago – but just within the furthest reaches of our digital archive – a few interesting events occurred…

Now, many companies have a global internet forum. A place where keen followers of the company and its product line gather, and where users go to sort out issues they may be having. We have one too.

Global. All very well, but not very intimate. All a bit too mechanical. All a bit too utilitarian and broad-stroke. Not personal: no real rapport. So we thought and debated and scratched heads regarding a different approach. And the eventual result: the birth of our localized – Russian – fan club, 14 years ago!

And just like we like to celebrate our birthday as a company in style, our fan club does too, in recent years even going on exotic expeditions for the occasion: Cambodia, Iceland and elsewhere. This year another expedition was planned, but then it was postponed, then postponed again, for the obvious reasons. Summer – the season the birthday falls in – came and went, yet still no b-day bash. Fall came and went. The last season of the year came… and so there was only one thing for it: this year’s celebrations would take place in winter! Which they just did…

Read on…