Avast is one of the largest security software providers in the world. They fight cybercriminals using new generation technologies. Avast protects over 440 million users worldwide and manages one of the largest and most advanced threat detection networks. Avast originates from the Czech Republic and still has its headquarters here. Over 1,200 people work in its Prague and Brno offices. The company has affiliates (for example) in Germany, Great Britain, Russia, The US, China and Japan. Avast gained its largest user base by buying its competitor AVG Technologies in 2016.
Past and present
1988 was the year when Pavel Baudiš from the Prague Research Institute of Mathematical Machines saw a sample of a computer virus, named Vienna. He wrote a program to remove it and showed it to his colleague, Eduard Kučera. Soon after, they founded a cooperative to create and distribute Avast.
In the early 1990s, they founded a company of the same name and started doing business. Without a background, finance or contacts, they did it purely because they were keenly interested in the atypical field of information technology. At that time, they had the goal – just as today – to ensure the security and accessibility of the Internet for anyone at any time and to protect the world from computer attacks. Believing that everyone should have access to the Internet for free and without fear, the company begun to launch the “freemium” model, one of the first of its kind in the world. The decision to offer the basic version of the antivirus program became the first step towards global success. Another important step was to offer the product not only in English, but also in Chinese, Arabic and other languages. Today, Avast protects more than 440 million users and its software is installed on 40% of computers worldwide.
Every month, Avast fends off about 305 billion attempts. In 2016, it blocked 128 million ransomware attacks. This is because the company has developed a cloud-based security tool to continuously receive data from over 4,400 million sensors across the globe. The company has extensive information sources to help stop threats before they manifest. In its mobile threats database it records nearly six million samples of malicious code. When security software has to face increasingly complex threats, it must be faster, smarter and more efficient. Avast uses big data, artificial intelligence and detailed threat analysis tools to identify, detect and remove cyber threats in real time, making the Internet safer for everyone.
In the coming years, the number of devices connected to the Internet can be expected to increase almost threefold. Households are homes to security cameras operated by mobile phones, refrigerators capable of tracking the quantity and type of food and ordering goods as needed… we are building smart homes run by a computer connected to the web. Hacker attacks on similar devices are already reaching record numbers. Avast wants to protect its users from this growing threat and therefore is coming up with new security for smart home networks.
Why did the unusual word “avast” became the name of the company? One of the founders of the company was inspired by the old pirate expression “avast ship!” With this call, sailors addressed the ship they selected as prey to lower their sails and stop the voyage immediately. Avast founders wanted to symbolically express their efforts to swiftly stop pirates and allow other people to safely “navigate” the ocean of the Internet.