When Andrey Meshkov, CTO of AdGuard, agreed to an interview, Safety Detective asked him how his company is helping consumers stay safe in the age of IoT. Here’s what he said.
Safety Detective: Tell me how you got started in the cybersecurity industry.
Andrey Meshkov: I first took interest in it 10 years ago when we just started developing AdGuard. Cybersecurity is largely intertwined with the protection of privacy, which is one of our highest priorities, so naturally, it’s something I have to follow and be aware of. Since “ancient times,” malvertising has been one of the main channels for the spreading of viruses and we are successfully fighting it.
SD: What does your company do to help protect the end-user?
AM: Our interests lie mostly in the field of ad blocking and tracking protection, so we don’t have any products oriented specifically towards cybersecurity. However, as I’ve already mentioned, malvertising is very real, and by blocking ads users also protect themselves from virus threats. I also must mention AdGuard Browsing Security, which is a complementary module that is present in our apps and browser extensions. Its sole purpose is to check every website against the vast database and warn the user if they are going to open a malicious or fraudulent one.
SD: What is the worst cyberthreat to end users today?
AM: This question isn’t easy to answer. I’d say there are several more-or-less equally serious threats; you can’t name one without mentioning the others:
- Cryptominers are still relevant, despite the recent discontinuation of CoinHive. The top 4 positions (and 5 out of the top 10) of the most widespread malware threats of 2018 belong to miners. You simply can’t ignore that.
- Ransomware is a classic that’s been popular among cybercriminals for years and is going to stay that way for the foreseeable future.
- One of the new threats to look out for is attacks on connected devices. They are on the rise, and with IoT becoming a routine part of our lives, you have to be prepared.
SD: How can your solutions keep people safe when they use smart home devices?
AM: One direction we are working towards right now and the one I am personally very excited about is privacy protection for the entire home/work network. The first step has been made already; we developed an open source product named AdGuard Home. It is too early for the official release, but a lot of people are already using it, and the feedback is overwhelmingly positive. Honestly, it exceeds our most daring expectations and galvanizes us to improve AdGuard Home further and further.
SD: How do you see cybersecurity developing in the next 5 years?
AM: By the nature of cybersecurity, it is very responsive. So my answer is, the future will largely depend on the evolution of threats. Cybersecurity companies should watch closely the trends among cybercriminals and be ready to retaliate quickly and effectively.