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Eset Software

The next generation of antivirus.

Not many companies were started because of a virus, but San Diego-based Eset Software >< likes to be unique. CEO Anton Zajac chats about theoretical physics, proactive detection, and a certain special folder that's near to his heart.

How did Eset get started, and what does the company do?

Eset was founded in 1992, inspired by the Vienna virus that appeared four years prior. At that time, computer viruses were not viewed as great threats. In fact, Peter Norton, later the founder of Symantec, proclaimed computer viruses to be “urban legends like the crocodiles in the New York sewers.”

Since its inception, Eset has focused on the development of innovative antivirus solutions. Since May 1998, our product, NOD32, has been the only antivirus solution that has never missed an “In the Wild” virus used in tests conducted by Virus Bulletin, an independent antivirus testing organization. In addition, Eset maintains strong partnerships with major corporations like Canon, Dell and Microsoft, who recognize the value of NOD32’s unique combination of proactive detection and fast scanning speed.

What got you personally interested in doing this work?

I’m driven by the thrill of overcoming any challenges that cross my way. Witnessing the emergence of the Vienna virus and recognizing its implications spurred my interest in the potentially devastating threat. In essence, I was at the right place at the right time. So I put my background in theoretical physics and programming and my management experience to use and launched this company.

Why do you feel there’s a need for what you provide?

The number of ways that viruses and other malware can spread and targets they aim for are on the rise. As new viruses and new targets for these viruses emerge, the need for proactive protection will always exist.

The exponential growth of Eset over the last few years illustrates this increasing demand for new generation antivirus protection. NOD32 provides customers with the highest ROI in the industry as a result of increased user compliance, decreased downtime, and higher productivity.

What kind of challenges does your company face?

The ability to detect and stop new, unidentified e-mail and Internet-borne malware is a challenge Eset shares with all other antivirus vendors. New viruses require new defenses. Signature-based scanners, without advanced heuristics detection, are no longer able to protect PCs against unknown worms. Real-time protection against new threats is what we are heavily focusing on in developing new versions of our product. The results we have achieved indicate we have done a very good job in this direction. NOD32 detects over 90 percent of e-mail borne worms without any need to update the virus signature database. This is a unique result and obviously stresses our challenge as well.

What do you like best about what you do?

I have a special folder on my computer dedicated to clients’ feedback. I enjoy reading the feedback we receive. It is rewarding to know that our clients are satisfied and their networks and computers are protected. And it’s just as pleasing to hear when our clients are so satisfied with our product that they are eager to recommend it to others.

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