ESET rejigs, expands consumer lineup with v10 release

The ESET v10 release includes an upgraded and renamed enhanced product, as well as a new premium product that has two additional security features.

Security software vendor ESET has announced a reworking of its consumer products lineup, as part of its major annual released of its consumer Windows portfolio. As part of this v10 release, they have rebranded the former ESET Smart Security as ESET Internet Security, and added some new features. They have also introduced a new high-end product, ESET Smart Security Premium, which includes new privacy-focused security features.

“Our consumer line is organized on a Good-Better-Best basis,” said Serdar Ayar, ESET Product Release Manager, ESET North America. “Our ESET NOD32, which includes ransomware protection, is the Good product.”

The Better product is now named ESET Internet Security, a rebranding of what used to be ESET Smart Security.

“We did market research and found that Internet Security reflects people’s concerns more today,” Ayar said.

The two products are very similar, although the v10 release makes some changes. One differentiation of the ESET Smart Security product – anti-theft protection – is now gone.

“We found that people didn’t use it,” Ayar said.

v10 does introduce two new features to the Internet Security product though – Webcam Protection and Home Network Protection.

“We position products based on heavy market research, and this led us to introduce these new features,” Ayar said. “Webcam protection reflects the fact that consumers are interested in privacy-related features. Our competitors, with one exception, do not have such a feature.”

The Webcam protection controls processes and applications that access computer-connected or embedded web cameras, displays notifications and lets the user block unwanted applications trying to access the camera.

“The default for the Webcam protection is set to on,” said James Rodewald, ESET Malware Removal Support Supervisor, ESET North America. “Sites that try and control your webcam can range from snooping, to spying and getting pictures of you, to stealing any information visible on the camera. Even Mark Zuckerberg has been seen putting tape over his Webcam. Today, this is just on our consumer products, but it could well have commercial market applicability as well.”

The Home Network Protection feature lets users test home routers for known vulnerabilities such as weak passwords or vulnerable firmware.

“This Wi-Fi router protection identifies hardware or software vulnerabilities on a home router and sees which devices connected,” Ayar said. “This light penetration test lets the user see what vulnerabilities exist, and gives recommendations how to fix them. This is a brand new feature, and a step into the Internet of Things area.”

One new feature in v10 that has been added to all members of the family is Script-Based Attack Protection. It protects users against the increasing numbers of dynamic script-based malware attacks

“Malware writers have gotten lazier, and use scripting techniques that run on every OS by default with scripts,” Rodewald said. “This looks to see if a script is malicious and trying to steal information, or whether it is harmless.”

v10 also adds a new upmarket offering, as part of ESET’s strategy to sell more upscale consumer products.

“Up to now, in terms of sales split, it has been split about 50-50 between NOD32 and Smart Security,” Ayar said. “Our goal is to increase the sales of the mid-line and new upmarket product, and we have already started seeing a shift.”

The ESET Smart Security Premium is a brand new one, and is aimed at the high end of the market.

“We are helping resellers drive sales in the mid – premium categories of ESET’s consumer segment,” said Brandon Stigers, Director of Inside Channel Sales, ESET North America. “With the latest version, the premium product helps fulfill the higher end of the market and round out our offering. The new segmenting should help our reseller channel be more competitive in all categories of the consumer security space.”

ESET Smart Security Premium has two additional premium security features.

ESET Password Manager is an integrated feature which uses AES‑256 encryption to store and pre-fill all passwords. This makes designing long passwords, or reusing the same password on multiple accounts to remember them, both redundant.

The other feature, ESET Secure Data. uses encryption to ensure secure collaboration and data sharing while also protecting against data theft in the event of USB key or laptop loss.

In terms of pricing, the ESET NOD32 covers 1 seat for $USD 39,99, while 5 seats are $79.99. ESET Internet Security is $59.99 for 1 seat and $99.99 for 5 seats. The Smart Security Premium is available at the moment only in a 1 seat configuration for $79.99.

“The restriction to 1 seat for the Smart Security Premium Product is there because the Password Manager, which is a white-labelled product, comes only in one seat,” Ayar said. “That may change in the future.”

ESET is introducing another offering that isn’t a product, but is a bundle. The ESET Multi Device Security bundle comes in two packages, one of up to 6 devices, and one up to 10 devices. It includes mix and match licensing for all PC/Mac/Android products, but does not include any of the Premium features. It retails for $84.99 for 6 devices and $99.99 for 10 devices.