2014 Recap: What Happened in Internet Security and at Emsisoft

Bye, bye 2014 – what an exciting year! Admittedly, I love annual reviews. Especially if the past year was such a good one as 2014 was. This is an attempt to recap what happened in the internet security scene and at Emsisoft as a company.

2014 – at the malware protection front:

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  • Threats and attacks became even more sophisticated and increased in numbers. During the past year we saw more than 100 million new unique malware files and the number continues to grow exponentially; it actually doubles almost every year. Since it became impossible to analyze each and every of the more than 250,000 samples we receive each day manually, state-of-the-art technology is required. Our efforts in research and development during the last decade pay off today: The behavior blocking technology used in Emsisoft Anti-Malware and Emsisoft Internet Security constantly ranks in the upper quarter of all comparative rankings that we participate in and is proven to be one of the most effective virus- and malware-protection mechanisms available. Check our Collection of Comparatives Tests and Reviews for details.

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  • Ransomware, as predicted earlier, became one of the top-dangers in 2014. Hackers did not only try to infect home computers but also targeted webservers frequently. Once infected via an exploit for an outdated Java– or Flash-plugin, ransomware encrypts all personal data files and doesn’t release them until a ransom payment is made – usually in the $400 to $1000 range. Since the passwords are mostly stored online where nobody can access them, there is no way to crack the encryption password within a reasonable time (or even a human lifetime). Ensure that all your installed software is always up to date!

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  • Potentially Unwanted Programs, in short “PUPs“, are quite the opposite of furry little pets. Ethics in software industry seem to be lost completely at more and more software vendors. To make quick cash or fulfill venture capitals’ growth expectations, an increasing number of freeware producers started to bundle nasty browser toolbars and other adware components with their software. Today you need to be even more careful and cautious if you read “freeware” next to a piece of software. Interestingly, even big well-known vendors take their reputation at risk with these things and even worse: Many antivirus vendors joined that dirty game too! Our malware analysis team already spends half of their overall analysis time with PUPs and the numbers accelerate in growth. Watch every step of software installations and untick any bundle offers that may mess up with your computer.

2014 – at Emsisoft:

icon_eamNew user interface for Emsisoft Anti-Malware: Version 9 was the biggest leap forward in the product’s 11-year history.

Emsisoft Anti-Malware transformed from a complementary malware scanner to a full grown-up antivirus package that can easily outperform most competitor products on the market – not only in protection, but also in usability and efficiency. We have received overwhelming positive feedback from the press and from customers on the current release. Please tell us what YOU like most about Emsisoft. We’re keen on listening to your suggestions for further improvements.

New Emsisoft Internet Security: That new product combines the best of two worlds.

It takes the awarded protection features of Emsisoft Anti-Malware and adds the firewall layer of Emsisoft Online Armor for a premium overall protection suite. Strongly recommended for all laptop users who are frequently connected to different third party wireless networks.

New Emsisoft Mobile Security: Conquering new markets.

The computing power of your smartphone today is most likely much stronger than that of your very first home-computer one or two decades ago. More power makes it more interesting for attackers who try to grab your banking data or just want to let your phone call expensive numbers all day long invisibly. Emsisoft Mobile Security is the ultimate defense line for your Android device.

icon_kiwiCompany relocation: From day 1, Emsisoft always was a 100% virtual company.

That basically means we don’t have a fancy office building, everyone works from whatever place he or she wants. We’re now spread across 14 different countries and grew from a simple collaboration of just two geeks to a team of more than 25 well-organized professionals. In September this year, my family and I decided to relocate from Austria to New Zealand and that’s why Emsisoft’s company address has changed too. But rest assured that this will not affect you or our products’ quality in any way. We’re still committing to highest European privacy and security standards and spanning across almost all time zones means higher flexibility and better speed when it comes to react on new malware outbreaks or other emergency situations. There is always someone up and working at Emsisoft.

icon_lovePolished up mission and ethics statement: Throughout the year we have developed a new corporate identity and design scheme which was incorporated in the new software user interface as well as on our new website.

We also realized it was time to refresh our mission statement, which is defined to summarize the essence of what we do as follows:

We at Emsisoft make the most powerful yet light-weight protection software, in a way that’s easiest for everyone.

Unlike many antivirus software vendors, we’re keeping ethical standards high. We are convinced that treating our customers in an honest and respectful manner is the foundation of sustainable business. We will say “no” to any crap software bundles, we will not betray our loyal customers for quick cash, we will not aim to collect any personal data (unless absolutely required to create specific features) and we will not collaborate with governments to whitelist surveillance tools (unless we are forced to by law). We commit to keep you safe from malware!

I wish you a good start into 2015!

Christian Mairoll,

Emsisoft CEO

  • Tempus

    Looking forward to see what you ” Emsisoft ” will come up with of ideas and improvement for 2015. Really like what you has done with version 9 so far . Personally I have had a malware free year, so I will definitely renew my license when the time comes. I really liked the last third of your blog, the section titled ” Polished up mission and ethics statement ” . I like that your profile is crystal clear and simple, (where simple means easy to use and understand) as your products. =)

  • Cat Tilley

    I’m proud to have been an Emsisoft customer going into my 3rd year, and I can say that it’s the best brand out of any that I’ve ran to date. While at the same time, being light on resources, one of my installs is on a low powered IBM T42 ThinkPad (Pentium 1.73GHz CPU, 2GB DDR RAM), and it doesn’t slow XP Pro at all.

    And on my other, more powerful & frequently used computers, it’s the same. Emsisoft does a First Class job of proving security w/out the nagging that other solutions (both free & paid) provides. It’s the job of security to be just that, not to be an all-in-one security/multi utility suite.

    Should the rare event of customer service become needed, Emsisoft is just a couple of hours away, if that. While the other big names (& hefty, high paid staff) takes up to a week to respond, or refers one to forum support as a first option. While Emsisoft does have a forum, I had one issue & wasn’t directed to one, received the support needed within two hours, at 3AM my local time.

    Christian & the Emsisoft Team is the greatest, and the racked up awards & reviews proves it. No other security brand has received as many in as short of a span as Emsisoft.

    Happy New Year to the Emsisoft Staff!

  • barb boggs

    Your software was recommended to me by a ‘techie’ probably when you first started out. I know it’s been at least 6-7 years. My scan occasionally catches ‘something’ but never having to worry about what’s going on in there I just let you guys (your s/w) take care of everything and go on my merry way. Thank you for creating and maintaining the BEST anti-malware s/w around with the high ethics that you have. We depend on you!! A bit early but Happy New Year to all of you at EMSI!!

  • BĂLĂ ION ADRIAN

    Whitelist Surveillance Tools? You mean that tools just like the advanced applications used for human spy (politics – governments – Interpol – FBI – CIA – KGB -…)… About Facebook account protection data: I don’t trust Facebook & others like. Finaly, back to THE REAL SUJECT: I HAVE USED EMSISOFT ANTI-MALWARE TRIAL VERSION AND TESTED. YES! VERY GOOD! AND IT MIGHT WORK SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. VERY GOOD JOB IDEED. I RECOMMEND EMSISOFT ANTI-MALWARE PROFESSIONAL TO SOME COMPANIES OF ROMÂNIA, BECAUSE IS ONE OF THE MOST EFFICIENT SECURITY APPLICATIONS. EVEN IF I USED ONLY TRIAL, I’M CONVINCED THAT PROFESSIONAL VERSION IS THE BEST OPTION TO SMALL BUSINNES COMPANIES FROM ROMÂNIA. ON THE P.C. WHERE I WORK – MY JOB: PROJECT DESIGNER – INFRASTRUCTURE OF VILLAGES AND CITIES – BITDEFENDER IS USED (FROM ROMÂNIA) … EVEN IF BITDEFENDER WORK IN SILENCE, HAVING TOO SIMPLY MENU ANDA POOR MANUAL CONTROL, AFTER 10 YEARS OF TESTS OF SECURITY PROGRAMS, EVEN FROM MICROSOFT BASIC ANTIVIRUS, I FOUND THAT EMSISOFT SECURITY TOOLS AND EMSISOFT ANTI-MALWARE IS ON TOP LEVEL OF MY TRUST. I LIKE THE EMSISOFT ANTI-MALWARE SETTINGS MENU STRUCTURE AND NEWS SECTION MIGHT INTERACT WITH THE NEEDS OF I.T. SECURITY. I WISH HAVE YOU (ALL THAT WORKING FOR EMSISOFT SOFTWARES) A BETTER YEAR 2015! EMSISOFT FIGHT AGAINST EVIL SOFTWARE AND BE THE WINNER! KEEP THAT ETHICAL CONCEPTS AND NEVER MAKE ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE WELL OFF COMPANIES, COUNTRIES POLITICS (FOR RULING THE WORLD AND MANIPULATION).