TL; DR: BullGuard’s comprehensive security portfolio for PC, Mac, and mobile devices provides consumers and small businesses with the confidence that cybercriminals cannot access their personal and professional data. The company’s overarching goal is to make cybersecurity a less daunting challenge through simple yet powerful solutions. Its most recent release, BullGuard Small Office Security, demonstrates the company’s ongoing commitment to providing the latest industry innovations.
In the early 2000s, cushioned between the fall of Napster and the rise of Spotify, the popular peer-to-peer file-sharing network Kazaa hit its peak — becoming the go-to source for free music, movies, and applications.
Its fame was short-lived. Almost as quickly as it had captured user attention, the Denmark-based network earned a damaging reputation for spreading viruses and malware.
In 2001, as the network’s popularity began to plummet, Kazaa investor Morten Lund took action. With the help of Theis Søndergaard, he founded BullGuard, a powerful internet security suite designed to safeguard internet and mobile users.
“The market opportunity to create a consumer antivirus company was the genesis for BullGuard,” said Paul Lipman, CEO. “Today, we focus on providing the best service experience in the industry to both consumer and small business customers.”
The company’s tagline — “We keep you safe, and we keep it simple” — says it all.
“We’re delivering an exceptional quality of protection to our customers with great support when they need it,” Paul said. “We also strive to be the most channel-centric company in the industry. Our goal is to be the vendor of choice for partners in taking security services to market.”
Today, BullGuard’s comprehensive security portfolio protects consumers and SMBs on PCs, Macs, and mobile devices from criminals looking to profit off their personal and professional data. Ultimately, the company’s goal is to offer simple yet robust solutions that take the hassle out of cybersecurity. With the release of BullGuard Small Office Security, the company is demonstrating its unwavering commitment to that goal.
An Evolving Security Portfolio for PC, Mac, and Mobile
In the nearly 20 years since BullGuard’s founding, Paul said the company had to navigate a number of trends and challenges to remain competitive and keep customers secure. For instance, he noted the increasing sophistication of attacks, which have rendered traditional approaches to security ineffective in many cases.
“We’ve been investing significantly in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to detect the needle in the haystack, discriminate between good and bad processes and files, and rapidly identify and block zero-day threats, which have never been seen before,” he said.
Paul said this area of investment is industrywide, but BullGuard approaches it slightly differently in that it runs AI models both in the cloud and at the endpoint level.
“Many cybercriminals know that detection technology often relies on the cloud and will try to cut off connections at that level,” he said. “That’s why we’re still running those models in real time on a desktop and are able to block those threats in a way that’s fairly unique in the industry.”
Paul has also observed increasing concern around privacy when it comes to outbound data, which he said is a relatively recent phenomenon. The trend inspired the company to release the BullGuard VPN with military-grade encryption that allows users to access the internet safely and securely from any location.
“The product has been met with strong reception from both the consumer space and the SMB market,” he said. “Increasingly, in a world in which consumers and small companies are running everything in a hosted cloud environment, devices themselves become that single point of failure.”
Therefore, he said users are viewing VPNs as an increasingly important aspect of the security stack since they provide an encrypted tunnel from the device to the cloud.
New: Advanced Endpoint Protection via BullGuard Small Office Security
In many ways, Paul said small businesses are more vulnerable than enterprises to the average online attack. That’s because, apart from sophisticated target attacks, the enterprise has vastly more resources to dedicate to security than a small medical or law practice.
To protect SMBs from identity and data theft, account takeovers, and malware, among other threats, the company recently released BullGuard Small Office Security, an intuitive, robust, and reliable endpoint security service designed for the small business market.
“Typically, small businesses have to make a tough choice,” Paul said. “They either have to use a consumer product that doesn’t scale particularly well, or they’re left with implementing burdensome and complex products designed for much larger organizations.”
BullGuard Small Office Security, explicitly designed to meet the needs of businesses with 50 or fewer employees, ensures that SMBs don’t have to make that choice. The product is ideal for companies that turn to a third-party to install and manage endpoint cybersecurity, as well as those that manage security in-house. It features an intuitive setup and deployment process and lightning-fast issue resolution, all while consuming minimal device resources.
“Essentially, the product is a lightweight, high-performing endpoint agent that is managed through a cloud portal so the administrator — whether that’s an internal IT person, managed service provider, or external IT person — can manage security for the devices on the network in real time, from the cloud,” he said.
When reviewing competitors’ cloud-managed endpoint security product, Paul said BullGuard identified a significant lag between malicious activity and notifications. “There’s no point in detection if the virus has infected your organization for hours before you find out about it,” he said. “We really focused on ensuring high-performance and have 25 partners who’ve been testing this in beta and providing terrific feedback.”
Making Cybersecurity a Less Daunting Challenge
BullGuard’s product portfolio provides customers with a wide range of benefits, from increased agility to better ROI. It also shines when it comes to simplicity — an important but often underestimated feature in the software world.
In addition to designing products that are easy-to-use for consumers and SMBs, BullGuard aims to make it easy for the partner community and ecosystem to deploy and manage security for their customers.
“Simplicity is absolutely at the center of everything we do,” Paul said. “For example, my brother-in-law is a surgeon who runs a small office. What he knows about IT can be written on the back of a very small postage stamp, so he has a guy who manages it for him — we want to make it as easy as possible for that guy to do his job.”
When it comes to ongoing development, Paul told us that his team makes decisions based on customer feedback, industry trends, and internal wisdom. To do so, he said the team stays extremely close to customers and is highly responsive to their needs. The company also leaves space for the talented engineers within the company to freely innovate.
“What’s really fascinating about the security industry is that it truly is a cat-and-mouse game — while we’re sitting around a conference table thinking about development, you can bet there is a group of folks in Russia or Ukraine trying to figure out a new way to compromise devices or data,” he said. “That’s what makes it so challenging but also fascinating.”
An Increased Focus on Safeguarding Consumer Privacy
Paul said BullGuard has recently turned its focus to innovation within the privacy arena.
In September, the company launched an all-new suite of internet security and antivirus tools for 2020 that feature compatibility with BullGuard VPN to ensure privacy when connecting to unsecured wifi.
“When you connect to an unsecured network, if you have our VPN, we’ll be able to fire up the VPN immediately to ensure that you are protected in that environment,” Paul said. “It’s an additional layer of contextual understanding that keeps our customers safe, and we’re keeping it extremely simple.”