Interview with the developer: SoftSphere Technologies

    The previous interview with Download Master developers was a good success, and today I am publishing another interview, with a different developer and from a completely different field.
    This time we'll talk about security. Today, Ilya Rabinovich, the developer of DefenseWall HIPS and the head of SoftSphere Technologies, will talk about her programs, workdays, and the future of free software .> Tell us about yourself and your programs. How long have you been developing and why did you decide to create programs for security, and, say, not video editors or something else?
    Ilya> Graduated from Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, Department of Experimental Nuclear Physics. In 1994, I bought the first computer with bare DOS on board. Thus began the process of understanding the intricacies of the functioning of iron and the core of the operating system. I like it so far, nothing has changed. I like to get to the bottom of things, it’s innate. It is clear that the point of application of such knowledge and skills is safety. On the white or dark side, this is just a matter of ethics. I chose white.> How do you assess the market for such programs in Russia and the world? In other words - are there many competitors or is your program very unique?
    Ilya> At the moment, I evaluate the HIPS market as being only in its initial stage, both in the world, and especially in Russia. Suffice it to say that the methodology for comparative testing of HIPS systems is still only at the level of the first versions of the document (but I was able to contribute my bit to it). Actually, the tests will begin only in 2008.

    Accordingly, there is no big PR, no market consolidation. This is an axiom. Regardless of whether the market is end-user or SMB / Corporate. Most enterprises in the world have budget lines “antiviruses”, “firewalls”, but there is no “HIPS” line, although this type of program is of equal importance in ensuring the antivirus security of enterprises, if not even higher.

    Of course, there are competitors, they must be, otherwise problems arise,
    1. There is no market for the product.
    2. There is a market, but can you raise it with the help of a small startup?

    Naturally, DefenseWall HIPS has certain competitive advantages over other programs. Otherwise, there would be no reason to start if you do not set yourself the goal of becoming and being better. Google has already consumed one of my competitors, CheckPoint / ZoneAlarm is pulling up. So 2008 promises to be interesting. I believe that free, fair competition is only in the hands of end users, that is, me and you, my potential customers :)> As I understand it, basically, your customers are different companies. Does this mean that protection is more important for corporate users, or are they just more likely to pay for programs compared to private users?
    Ilya> My main customers now are end users. Companies do not have a “HIPS” budget line, but the DefenseWall HIPS absolutely does not fit the concept of “antivirus” :) Naturally, they are mostly concentrated not in Russia - the USA, England, Australia ...

    It is clear that the level of piracy in the SMB / Corporate is much lower than among end users. And of course, much more money is spinning there. But you also need to understand that the rules of the game are such that innovative startups, without a name, today rarely can immediately reach this sector, without a long preliminary reconnaissance in battle and artillery preparation.> How often do you have to deal with hacking of your programs and what measures do you take to protect? What do you think is better - to actively combat piracy or just make using illegal software unprofitable?
    Ilya> All interesting programs are cracked. There are no untrusted programs. No security code can stand against a professional, it is a fact. And if they don’t hack, they’ll scard. The main thing is that it was impossible to make the left key generator for the program, for this you need to use strong asymmetric cryptography.

    You need to understand that the fight against piracy is the lot of large corporations. They have material means and leverage in the midst of power and mass media. The fate of startups is the development of innovative products and their subsequent monetization through sales and popularization among potential consumers of their products. Everyone should do their own thing, I believe in it 100%. I do my work and, therefore, do not fight with cracks. And I will not theorize about the most effective means of struggle - I am more than a practitioner. So I’ll become a big corporation, then we'll see what is better in the fight against piracy :)> What do you think about the level of piracy in Russia and the CIS countries? Why did you stop working with the Russian market and do you plan to return to it?
    Ilya> Sales of DefenseWall HIPS in Russia are disappointingly low, despite the fact that the reviews of the program were published on very strong Internet resources of Runet. So low that I decided to release the second version of the program without a Russian interface; I’m not sure that the cost of transferring resources and help will be repulsed for me.

    I don’t think that this is only because of piracy (although its level goes over 80% in Russia). This is also due to the low number of Internet users, the backwardness of means of payment for programs you like (there are not enough credit cards, it would be ideal via SMS, but here, before the break, you still have to row and row because of the greed of OPPS), as well as the general low susceptibility to innovation. Suffice it to say that all the latest “innovative” Runet projects are simply stupidly licked clones from their Western counterparts.> In one of our conversations, you said you did not believe in free security. What is your opinion based on? After all, there are many free security products that perform well in independent tests and even bypass some of their paid counterparts.
    Ilya> I do not believe in free security for two reasons.
    1. Security is a service. Service, not the installed program! Antiviruses constantly need updates to their signature databases (preferably once an hour or more often). Firewalls and HIPS are not so greedy for updates, but they must always be the latest version. Continuous development (and you can’t stop here even for a second) requires a constant influx of money to pay programmers, sales people, advertising, the Internet, office, electricity, new computers and so on. Those free versions of security tools that I know are either cut by functionality and, in fact, are not security tools (either everything or nothing), or they will become paid when a certain share of popularity is achieved.
    2. Safety is an obligation. Obligation of the supplier of remedies to the client. What obligations can be discussed if the client does not pay for the development? I know a bunch of free security software abandoned by my developers> Well, what are the prospects for free software in other areas? Do you share the view that the future is open source?
    Ilya> It's hard to say. Each niche has its own IT. There are no universal recipes and solutions. The future is in programs that solve user problems in the most efficient way. And by what models they will be made - this is generally the tenth matter. Business is an extremely practical field of activity, there is no place for religious wars.> What free programs do you use and which ones would you recommend to our readers?
    Ilya> FireFox, Opera, VirtualPC, uTorrent, WinAmp, FFDShow, VLC (VideoLAN media player), MPC (Media Player Classic), Acrobat Reader, Sun Java, 7-Zip, ICQ, TrueCrypt, HelpMaker (but I can’t say that I recommend it, very buggy).> Thanks for the interview.
    Ilya> Forever please :)

    This is the interview :) It’s quite informative, as it seems to me. What do you say?

    [ Original Blog Free Alternative ]

    Also popular now: