Security Vendor AVG Looks To Show It's More Than Just A One-Trick Pony

Security vendor AVG sees the mobile revolution as a great opportunity for it to show the world that it's more than just a one-trick pony.

AVG, already well-known for its antimalware technology, is planning to roll out an identity-as-a-service offering in the first quarter of next year, Tony Anscombe, senior security evangelist at AVG, said in a keynote Friday at the NexGen Cloud Conference & Expo in San Diego.

The service will let partners offer single sign-on to their customers, a technology that is increasingly important for organizations with large numbers of mobile devices. AVG's focus here shows how the vendor is shifting its strategic focus in response to mobile boom, but Anscombe said it's still very much a security vendor.

"AVG has changed a lot in the past few years. We see ourselves as an online security company for devices, data and people. We have a large portfolio of products spanning consumers and businesses," Anscombe said.

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AVG has some 188 million customers around the world, and about 90 million are accessing its products from mobile devices, Anscombe said.

Roughly 10,000 partners worldwide are selling AVG's products, he said. They're likely to stay busy if AVG can set itself up as the security vendor of choice for mobile devices and the cloud.

In a recent survey of small and medium businesses, AVG's survey found that 69 percent are using mobile devices to access mission-critical apps. But they're not always paying enough attention to securing these devices, and that could drive lots of businesses for AVG and its partners, Anscombe said.

One big opportunity for SMBs is using Wi-Fi to connect with customers and analyze anonymous crowd data they collect, to better target their marketing. "I believe small businesses will be empowered by big data at some stage," said Anscombe.

Some 51 percent of SMBs have experienced some loss or exposure of sensitive data, and companies with less than 100 employees are getting hit even harder, according to the survey.

Collectively, these SMB breaches probably accounted for more lost data than the Home Depot and Target credit card breaches, Anscombe said. "There's a big opportunity here because SMBs are seen as an easy target," he said.

Seventy-one percent of companies with less than 10 people said they're trying to handle security on their own. That's understandable, Anscombe said, but AVG and its partners should help these customers understand that cloud-based security means they can get enterprise-level security at a price they can handle.

"They're just trying to survive and are more concerned about revenue and profit. What they don't understand, and we need to sell to them, is that they can have the same level of technology that enterprises have," Anscombe said. "That 71 percent is a big opportunity for both of us."