“We are here to spread awareness about cyber security threats”

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Altaf HaldeAltaf Halde is the managing director of Kaspersky to South Asia, a globally recognized manufacturer of cyber security solution. He was recently in Nepal for the post launch follow-up of the company’s products and also to spread the awareness on cyber security in Nepal through flash mobs in different markets. In an interview with Angila Sharma of New Business Age, Haude spoke about cyber security threats and the company’s plans in Nepal. Excerpts:
How do you analyse the condition of cyber security in Nepal?
We did a research regarding this using our central security monitoring system named Kaspersky Security Network (KSN). KSN keeps monitoring Kaspersky and non-Kaspersky users’ computers for usage of malwares. This research positioned Nepal among the seventh nation with users operating computers infected with malicious software. So, primarily one should not use computers infected with malicious software as these keep on sending personal data to its developer secretly. 
Customers usually complain that Kaspersky slows down the processing of the computer. How do you defend this?
With security, we have to keep in mind that it is not only about catching viruses. There are many types of antivirus software in the market, which only deal with the virus. But we provide 360-degree complete solution. We provide more security and also deal with malware in the computer.If we have to offer you the best security, a little bit of compromise on the speed of computer can be expected. If users feel that Kaspersky is delaying their computer’s performance, using the enabling/disabling certain features as provided in the package can help them in improving speed. 
Operating system these days have inbuilt antivirus system. In such case, how do you justify purchase of stand-alone antivirus softwares?
I have been in the IT security business for almost 22 years now. At this point of time, people have free software, which don’t offer official help. The thing is that, who will be accountable for the free software? Security is a big deal in today’s world.So, when you purchase licensed software, you are also assured that you will get support, if required.
How do you analyse the Nepali market?
Piracy is a big problem here. But, I see that there is potential in a very big way in the Nepali market. With the help of our distribution partner Sagar Group, we have been able to create a market here in Nepal.With the effort of our channelled partner, I think we can also starting talking to the government now that computerization and automatic system operation is increasing in Nepal. So, I think we would want to work very closely with the government to give them our expertise. In India, we have tied up with Computer Emergency Response Team (CERTS), which looks at the possible cyber threats to the Indian government. We can enter similar deal with the Nepali government, where we assist more like a consultancy instead of a charged service that will be selling its products to them. So, it is going to be a combined effort of reaching to the children, corporate houses and the government. Personally, I feel that Nepal is a very good market and with the help of our partner and distributors, we can definitely spread awareness regarding computer threats and security.
How much market share do you hold in Nepal?
We don’t have any official figures in Nepal. But based on the market, I think we have around 65 per cent of market share in Nepal.Out of 65 per cent, majority is from the consumer business.
What are your plans for Nepal?
We want to focus more on the corporate business. A lot of partners are now getting into the virtualization space. That’s where security is required the most.  So, we want to go into the corporate space. We have a mobile device management solution also within the Kaspersky portfolio. Most of the users have their customers coming to the office with their mobiles and tablets, the corporate house will requires some security for that. So, we have that solution in hand, which might not be useful for Nepal in the present context but in the future, it will be a need. We want to continue our focus on the consumer space, which we are doing in our 2015 product. But, in the future, we want to invest more on marketing and educating the corporate customers and prospects in Nepal.

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