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IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: IT Security – Prevention is Key with Dodi Glenn, GFI VIPRE Antivirus

December 6, 2012 No Comments

There is no question that hackers have become increasingly savvy over the last 20 years, and it’s not just the large corporations that are being targeted, businesses of every size are at risk.

In the below interview, Dodi Glenn from GFI’s VIPRE Antivirus outlines steps that organizations can take to prevent malware attacks, and emphasizes the importance of effective patch management in keeping valuable business information safe.

  • Q. In your opinion, how has the “art of hacking” changed over the past 5 years? What do you see as the biggest threats today?

A. The “art” has become easier to learn and easier to understand. Hackers are creating software that allows nearly any miscreant the ability to deliver malware to computers. For example software such as BackTrack 5 allows someone to attempt to penetrate networks, and cause chaos.

The biggest threats are coming from vulnerable programs, or applications, that have defects in them. The hackers realize this, and target these specific applications, in order to get a toehold on to the computer. Also, the end user, or victim, is a threat. If a corporation does not educate their employees about “computer safety”, they may fall victim to a hack or network breach.

  • Q. How can businesses today begin to overcome the security challenges that are inevitably being created through the evolution of cloud computing, mobile applications (BYOD), and social media?

A. Policies need to be created and enforced. Each employee must also clearly understand the repercussions.  Also, the business must understand where the data on each of these devices is/can go. If you allow an employee’s personal device to connect to your network, you have to understand that intellectual property may be lost, or placed in the wrong hands. Having a contingency plan is crucial, in the event something goes wrong.

  • Q. Can you please tell us a little about VIPRE Antivirus 2013, and how VIPRE easy install and VIPRE easy update work to help people stay on top of routine updates and other security safeguards?

A. We realize that most computer users already have an antivirus program. Making the switch to another product can become difficult. This is why we created VIPRE Easy Install. VIPRE Easy Install will automatically remove an existing antivirus solution, so that you can install VIPRE, without facing any conflicts. In VIPRE Business Premium and VIPRE Internet Security 2013 (for Consumers), we released a feature called VIPRE Easy Update. VIPRE Easy update will automatically patch vulnerabilities in 3rd party programs. We realized that hackers target these applications, and as such, have “plugged the hole.” It is important to make sure applications such as Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader and Oracle Java remain updated, in order to avoid being infected by a virus.

  • Q. How does Patch Management fit into all of this?

A. Patch management is key to preventing over 85% of the virus attacks currently out in the wild. By “plugging” the holes in vulnerable software, malware has a much more difficult time getting installed on to your network.

  • Q. Can you please give us a few “real life” examples of how VIPRE easy update has worked for organizations today?

A. We have seen instances where computers have become infected, regardless of the antivirus solution. The reason for this is that the malware being installed, was undetected by all major antivirus vendors. The way the malware got installed was through a missing patch/update of a particular 3rd party program. Once VIPRE patched these machines, the IT admins reported the machines no longer become infected.

  • Q. How else is GFI working to help IT organizations retain control over securing data, while at the same time allowing business units the freedom to access the information they need to properly expedite their daily tasks?

A. GFI provides solutions for the SMB market. For example, in VIPRE Business Premium, we have integrated Mobile Device Management. This will allow an admin to install a VIPRE agent on an Android device, so that they can ensure the device remains protected with an antivirus solution. In addition, it gives the IT admin the ability to locate the device, remotely lock it and remotely wipe it. This helps the IT admin by giving him a single console, to manage the devices connected to his network.

Dodi Glenn is the Product Manager for VIPRE Antivirus, and has over 10 years of experience in the software industry, predominately in the antivirus market. Prior to Product Manager, Dodi managed the antivirus lab at GFI Software.


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