Aviva Zacks of Safety Detective sat down with cybersecurity expert Sorin Mustaca. She learned that his company is helping to both educate customers and provide them with solutions to combat cyberthreats.
Safety Detective: How did you get started in the cybersecurity industry?
Sorin Mustaca: I started working in cybersecurity more than 20 years ago. My first job was as a software engineer working for RAV Antivirus, which was eventually acquired by Microsoft and transformed into Windows Defender. I’m proud to say that I helped create those products that everybody uses.
SD: How did you get your company started?
SM: After more than 11 years working as the engineering manager, product manager, and security manager for Avira, I decided to share my knowledge with other companies. I call it Sorin Mustaca IT Security Consulting because my customers know me personally as I’ve dealt with them in the past and they want to work with me.
SD: What does your company do to help companies and end-users?
SM: My company does two things. I see them as two business models. The first one is to develop security products in such a way that they are ready for white labeling. One of my key products is an antivirus for the end point.
The second one is cybersecurity consulting. I also have helped companies to identify what other technologies they want to develop, or they should develop. I helped them to integrate those technologies. In the end, the end-user benefits by getting better features and more stable features.
SD: What does your service do?
SM: Any endpoint antivirus is based upon a scanning engine, and ours comes from Avira. It has all the standard functions of a corporate or a basic antivirus: On-Demand Scanner, On-Access Scanner, and so on. It’s still so modular that it allows the customer to add more modules at any time. Some other modules that I have now in development are our VPN, patch management, intelligent uninstaller, and some others.
The OEM customer can purchase these modules and can deploy them to his end customers later. It’s very modular and extendable and it has a very, very low footprint, which makes this antivirus unique. Most other antivirus software usually needs somewhere between 256 MB and 2 GB of RAM. My antivirus requires only about 120 MB of RAM, which is optimized to be very fast and not consume many resources.
SD: What do you feel is the worst cyber threat today?
SM: I think that the worst cyber threat is ransomware because people just click on anything without thinking. If you ask me what the biggest threat in the digital world is, the threat is not actually digital, it’s the human sitting in front of the computer. No matter how good the solutions are that we develop, people will just do stupid things.
Some years ago, I wrote a free eBook called Improve Your Security. In it, I give advice about how people can increase their security easily—like creating better passwords, improving their online security, their social media accounts, and so on.
SD: How do you see cybersecurity developing in the next five years?
SM: I think that cybersecurity will be a part of everything you use—your watch, TV, computer, mobile device, and car. So, cybersecurity will be a commodity. Today, for example, seatbelts are mandatory in all cars. Nobody asks when buying a car, “Does this car have a seatbelt?” This is what is happening with antiviruses. I think this trend started a couple of years ago when Microsoft started to deliver Windows Defender in all operating systems and to be the baseline for security.
SD: Are the hackers going to get smarter, try to figure out ways around that?
SM: It’s always a fight. Unfortunately, I see most of the time that the AV industry is one step or a few steps behind.