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January 23rd, 2016

Avast’s new Prague headquarters is set to attract the most talented people

Avast's new headquarters are located in Prague's Enterprise Office Center.

Avast’s new headquarters are located in Prague’s Enterprise Office Center.

The opening of Avast’s beautiful new headquarters, Prague’s Enterprise Office Building, is a pretty good cause for celebration. At last night’s Grand Opening event, a few of our executive team members shed light on the moving process, as well as specific details about the building and its potential to open new doors for the company. Avast COO Ondrej Vlcek described the initial concept behind the building:

We modeled the design after some very successful Silicon Valley companies and are bringing that entrepreneurial spirit and drive for excellence to the team.

The building has an impressive collection of features:

  • 45 meeting rooms that provide both formal and relaxed environments.
  • 6-meter-wide stairs thoughout all six floors that serve as a meeting spot for employees.
  • A canteen with free food served daily from the morning until late afternoon. This supports informal contact between groups that traditionally wouldn‘t have lunch together as well as increased cross-departmental communication.
  • A fitness area, hammock room, pool tables, cinema, and library for enrichment and relaxation.
  • A children‘s room that works to support (and lend a hand to) each of our working parents.

 

It’s not hard to believe that such a spectacular working space draws in top-notch talent from across the globe to work at Avast. Current Avast employees also have a lot of positive things to say about our new workspace:

When I saw our canteen, I couldn’t believe it. So many varieties of food, from healthy light salads to breakfasts of champions. — Tomas Penka (eComm Specialist)

It’s fresh and unique, and it provides an atmosphere that invites creativity. – Che Johnson (Corporate Tech Support)

The central staircase impels employees to make use of it and walk more, which has been a healthy surprise. – Petr Prusa (QA Engineer)

Moving into the new year, we’re looking forward to thriving in our new building and seizing the opportunity to demonstrate how we work to keep people around the world safe every day.


Follow Avast on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Google+ where we keep you updated on cybersecurity news every day.


January 22nd, 2016

Avast opens its new headquarters with a gala event

Avast Building exterior

New Avast headquarters

Avast Software celebrates moving into a beautiful Silicon Valley-style work place.

The grand opening of the new Avast headquarters, held in Prague on Thursday night, was a gala event for employees, friends of Avast, international journalists, his excellence Andrew H. Schapiro U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Chairman of the Board John Schwarz, our two co-founders, and other honored guests.

Opening the event on a stage set up in the expansive lobby of the new building, CEO Vince Steckler summarized his last 7 years with the company. When he started, Avast was still a start-up in many ways with only 3 products, 40 employees, and occupying a modest building. There was no board of directors or proper company structure in place.

Since Mr. Steckler took the helm of the company, Avast has become a global force in security software and delivered award-winning products to consumers, small businesses, and enterprise.

“We are extremely proud of how far we have come,” said Steckler. “Avast is on more computers than any other security software, and we are just getting started.”

Avast lobby

Guests gather in the lobby as the Avast Grand Opening begins

Looking towards the future, Steckler said to a rapt audience, “The Internet of Things has led to an entire new era of security concerns, which Avast is well-poised to address for our customers.”

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January 21st, 2016

AV-Comparatives report: Avast takes the gold for Overall Performance

Avast was awarded the title of Top Rated Product for 2015 by AV-Comparatives.

Avast was awarded the title of Top Rated Product for 2015 by AV-Comparatives.

Recently, AV-Comparatives released their 2015 Summary Report, an important resource for anyone who is interested in security solutions and antivirus software. Avast had a few exciting wins in this year’s report, which we plan to build upon as we continue moving forward into 2016.

Firstly, Avast was awarded the title of Top Rated Product for 2015 by AV-Comparatives. In their report, AV-Comparatives writes:

“Avast is a Top Rated Product this year, receiving five Advanced+ awards in the course of the year, including both Real-World Protection Tests. . . We feel its scan-results dialog box is equally well suited to expert and non-expert users.“

In addition to being a Top Rated Product, Avast also won the Gold Award for AV-Comparatives‘ Overall Performance Test, as well as a Silver Award for the Malware Removal Test.

In describing their Overall Performance test, AV-Comparatives adds that Avast demonstrates a significantly lower impact on system performance than that of other products. This means that Avast doesn’t disturb you while you browse, work or play on your PC.

How to make your PC’s performance the best it can be

If you’re experiencing a sluggish computer, there’s several things you can do to improve your system’s performance.

  • Make sure your software is up to date. The most up-to-date software contains fixes and patches that makes it run at its best. Avast 2016 products have enhanced features and the highest detection rates to protect your computer from malicious attacks. Software Updater is a feature in Avast 2016 that helps you ensure that your programs are up to date.
  • Old hardware. If you try to install modern software onto your old computer, it could start running at a snail’s pace, because the hardware simply is not capable of running the software. Ideally, buying a new PC with a multi-core processor is the best solution. However if your budget does not include a new computer, then you could add more RAM.
  • Stick to one security program. It’s not advised to run more than one security program with real-time protection at a time. Please uninstall any trial software that came with your PC before installing different protection. You can find a list and instructions to remove here. We recommend that you follow the vendor’s instructions before proceeding with the uninstallation.

Follow Avast on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Google+ where we keep you updated on cybersecurity news every day.


January 20th, 2016

Privacy on the Internet: There is no such thing as a free lunch

This is a reprint of The elusive “P” which appeared in the January 2016 issue of Indian Management.

Indian Management Privacy

There is no such thing as a free lunch, truly.

As we increasingly traverse the virtual realm, we are putting at stake a crucial aspect—our much-treasured privacy.

There is not a lot of privacy on the Internet today. Every place you go – websites, social networks, apps – all know your IP address and where you are located, which they can correlate with your demographics, age, gender, and the websites that you visit. Social networks can even tell advertisers what your political leanings are and which religion you practice, and the Internet knows which books you read, which cosmetics you use, and whether or not you are pregnant, getting married or divorced. At the end of the day, search engine companies and Internet Service Providers know everything about you. With the up-rise of the Internet of Things, Internet-connected devices can dig even deeper into our lives. Our cars remember when we drove where, how fast we went, and what music we were listening to, while our smart watch can tell us more about our health than our doctors can. Privacy is a thing of the past.

A trade-off between convenience and privacy

In our day-to-day usage of the Internet, each of us are either making a conscious or unconscious trade-off between convenience and privacy.

One example of this can be seen in Gmail, the hugely popular email service used by nearly one billion people around the world. Most people will, but others might not recognize that they receive advertisements which are somewhat related to the subject of their emails. This is due to the fact that the subjects of a user’s emails are sent to various advertising engines to come up with relevant content to serve back to the Gmail user. For someone who sent an email with ‘vacation’ in the subject line, this may result in the user receiving ads with flight offers during the following days.

Read more…


January 16th, 2016

Small and midsize businesses are targeted most often by hackers

“SMBs are not just targets of cybercrime, they are its principal target”

says a U.S. Security and Exchange Commission report from last fall. In fact, the majority of all targeted cyberattacks last year were directed at SMBs.

The New York Times, in its article No Business Too Small to Be Hacked, said that 60% of all online attacks in 2014 targeted small and mid-sized businesses. Of those attacked, more than half (60%) would go out of business within 6 months of a data breach. That’s a lot of broken dreams and heart ache because of a lack of security.

Avast for Business autoshop

Small and mid-sized businesses use Avast for Business to protect from cyberthreats.

Small businesses lack IT expertise and budget

SMBs make attractive targets because they often neglect their security or rely on older consumer security software for protection. Money is always an issue, and sometimes the budget doesn’t allow for an expensive security package.

Just recently, our free, cloud-managed security solution, Avast for Business, passed a milestone – more than 1 million endpoints protected in less than a year. From our relationship with IT admins in sectors as diverse as Education, Non-profits, Retail, IT consulting firms, and SMBs, we have learned that many organizations lack in-house expertise or resources to install costly and complex security solutions.

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January 15th, 2016

Avast for Business: Zero to One Million endpoints protected in less than a year

Avast for Business takes off

 

Since the launch of Avast for Business, a free, cloud-managed security solution, in February 2015, organizations worldwide have deployed it to protect more than one million PCs, Macs, and servers from cyberattacks and data breaches.

Avast for Business is successful across diverse sectors

Avast for Business is extremely popular with Education, Non-profits, Retail, Healthcare, IT consulting firms, and small business because many organizations lack the IT resources to install costly and complex security solutions. Avast for Business is easily scalable and managed from anywhere. Additionally, Avast for Business starts at a price everyone can afford: Free, making it a natural fit for organizations worldwide.

Education IT admins value easy deployment, management, and the free cost

The sector that has embraced Avast for Business whole-heartedly is Education. IT administrators from universities, school districts, private and charter schools, libraries, and museums all tell us that ease of deployment and management is at the top of their security solution wish list. The fact that it’s also free makes it an easy decision.

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January 8th, 2016

Microsoft ends support for older versions of Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer icon

Update from an older Internet Explorer to avoid security risks

After January 12th, only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates.

People using Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10 will no longer receive security or technical updates after Tuesday, January 12th. This means that the older versions of Internet Explorer can be exploited by hackers which puts your computer and your data at risk. One last patch will be released January 12th with a reminder to upgrade your browser. If you do not upgrade to Internet Explorer 11, you will begin to receive “End of Life” upgrade notifications urging you to make the switch to Internet Explorer 11. Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 users should upgrade to Internet Explorer 11. Windows 7 users with Internet Explorer 9 or 10 should upgrade to Internet Explorer 11.

Choose a different browser

If you want to stay with a Microsoft product, then you also have the option to switch to Microsoft Edge, their latest, most modern browser, but you must also be using Windows 10.

This is a good opportunity to try another browser like Google Chrome, Firefox, or Opera.  We recommend Google Chrome as an alternative to Internet Explorer because of its security features and automatic updates.

There are plenty of alternative browsers to switch to as well; those that specialize in gaming, privacy, media consumption, and other things. Check out this listing of 10 obscure, highly specialized browsers from PCWorld.

Read more…

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January 7th, 2016

Android security updates roll out to fight “Stagefright” type bug

Android Mediaserver vulnerability looks similar to the Stagefright bug.

Android-malware

Android mediaserver malware resembles Stagefright

Android owners may recall the Stagefright bug, the “worst ever Android vulnerability yet discovered”. That malware exposed a billion (that’s nearly every) Android device on the face of the earth to malware.

The latest critical bug has similarities to Stagefright, but exists in Android’s mediaserver. Google warns that an attacker could use the bug to remotely run malware hidden in video or audio.

In an announcement published in the Nexus Security Bulletin for January, Google said it has fixed 12 vulnerabilities affecting Android versions 4.4.4 to 6.0.1. Five are rated as critical security bugs. Partners were notified about and provided updates for the issues on December 7, 2015 or earlier, said the post.

“The most severe of these issues is a Critical security vulnerability that could enable remote code execution on an affected device through multiple methods such as email, web browsing, and MMS when processing media files.”

How to protect yourself from the Android bug

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January 6th, 2016

Notes from the 2016 AT&T Developer Summit

The 2016 AT&T Developer Conference took place on January 2-5 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The 2016 AT&T Developer Conference took place on January 2-5 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For nearly 10 years, AT&T has been bringing an annual developer conference to their partners and collaborators. This year, they creatively chose to combine their conference with a hackathon in order to encourage the participation of budding developers and to support young talent in achieving career-related goals.

This year’s conference and hackathon, which took place on January 2-5 in Las Vegas, Nevada, was packed with an array of topics split into six main sessions: devices and wearables, IoT, real-time communications, video, network advances and the connected home.

I’ve put together several of the sessions that stood out to me as especially relevant to the evolution of today’s technology.

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January 4th, 2016

Internet of Things: What you need to do to protect yourself

The Internet of Things (IoT) join together physical devices that we use every day with information technology.

Make sure your Internet of Things is secure

We can use devices to monitor our health and fitness, our houses, our environment, and our factories and cities.

Using internet-connected devices expands our ability to control and monitor in the real world.  The IoT is literally changing our lives.

The Internet of Things has the potential to fundamentally shift the way we interact with our surroundings. The ability to monitor and manage objects in the physical world electronically makes it possible to bring data-driven decision making to new realms of human activity – to optimize the performance of systems and processes, save time for people and businesses, and improve quality of life.” ~ McKinsey Global Institute study

The potential economic impact of the IoT is astounding  – as much as $11.1 trillion per year by 2025 for IoT applications, projected by the same study.

But is there a downside?

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