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Kaspersky fights the grey tide

Kicks off anti-grey market drive as it prepares to launch new internet security and anti-virus products in the region

Kaspersky fights the grey tide
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Syria witnessed the most grey imports of Kaspersky software.

Kaspersky Lab has prepared a new battle plan in its fight against software piracy after illegal imports of its security products were found circulating in the Middle East.

As part of a focused anti-grey market drive, Kaspersky will now only activate codes designed for use within the region, with product packaging clearly identifying the territory it is supposed to be sold in.

The measures were put in place after a number of regional channel players were found to be illegally importing Kaspersky software that were not covered by the company’s licence or activation agreements.

News of the drive coincides with the launch of the company’s 2010 anti-virus and internet security software editions that are expected to hit the market next month. One of the standout features of the new versions is the ‘Safe Run Mode’ that allows users to run any questionable game or application in isolation, thus protecting the system from any dangers it might pose.

“Although it (grey imports) will definitely affect the sales revenues in this territory, we are looking more on the side of how much it will affect our customers’ experience and our brand image. This is what’s important for us,” stated Tarek Kuzbari, MD of Kaspersky Lab Middle East, who went on to reveal that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Syria were the worst hit by the grey tide.

Kaspersky however is just one of the many vendors that has to deal with the reality of software piracy. A recent report by the Business Software Alliance and IDC found that losses vendors faced from unlicensed software in the MEA region alone amounted to more than $2.9 billion last year.

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