Security vendor Cylance today announced Cylance Protect Home Edition, providing some of the same capabilities found in Cylance's enterprise-grade platform to home users.
Many next generation security vendors have stayed away from the consumer side of security as it can be a more difficult business to manage. Christopher Bray, Senior Vice-President and General Manager of Cylance's consumer business unit holds the view that the consumer business can be much more profitable than many enterprise businesses.
"The consumer security market is ripe for disruption," Bray told eWEEK.
According to Bray, the well-known vendors in the consumer security space have been selling a 30-year-old technology based primarily on their brand recognition. In his view, there has been little innovation in the consumer security space and many products are slow, cumbersome and annoying to use.
Cylance has been building artificial intelligence (AI) technology for enterprises to help detect malware without the need for any pre-existing signatures. Cylance Protect' AI is able understand when something malicious is being attempted by a system process and can stop the process before any damage occurs. According to Bray, technologically speaking, there is no difference between the client-side agent for the home edition and the enterprise version of Cylance Protect.
"It uses the same AI models that Cylance Protect for the enterprise uses to protect many Fortune 500 companies and government agencies," Bray said. "It's an enterprise-grade product with a simplified, elegant user interface for a consumer audience."
With some consumer anti-malware security platforms, users are warned of potential issues and then advised to click to quarantine, or take some form of remediation action. Bray said that Cylance Protect home users won't need to do anything and the system takes a 'set-it-and-forget it approach.
"Users of our consumer product do not have to do anything when Cylance Protect catches a new piece of malware," Bray said. "It's immediately recognized prior to execution, never allowed to run and is instantly blocked and quarantined, ensuring the device is safe and our consumer users can go about pursuing their passions on their digital devices."
In the enterprise space, Cylance also provides Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) capabilities, which gives organizations the ability to both detect and hunt for security threats. The Cylance Protect Home edition is not however an EDR tool. Bray said that it is a product that protects consumers against ransomware, trojans, spyware, and all malware.
"Saying it's just a consumer A/V (anti-virus) replacement does not do it justice," Bray said.
Bray added that what Cylance is delivering is the first type of next-generation anti-virus technology to the consumer market. Bray said that the promise of Cylance Protect Home Edition is that consumers no longer need to worry about making security decisions they don’t have enough context to make. The AI that is built into Cylance Protect also enables the technology to work, even when an internet connection is not available.
"As with Cylance Protect, Cylance Protect Home Edition does not require an internet connection to predictively identify malware and stop it in its tracks," Bray said. "That's the beauty of using AI."
Though the new Home Edition is targeted at consumers and not enterprises, the new Cylance Protect Home Edition is initially only being made available to employees of Cylance enterprise customers.
"Our first step in this bigger journey is to offer it to employees of enterprise companies, because ironically enough, the demand for consumer has come from our enterprise customers," Bray said.
Bray added that there is a legitimate risk of malware originating from the home network and propagating into the company network. As such, corporate security teams recognize that risk and want to proactively address it.
"By addressing this immediate need first, it allows us to springboard into offering our consumer products to the broader audience," he said.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.