Artificial Intelligence based Cyber Antivirus Technology

Matisoft Cyber Security Labs is an IIT-Delhi incubated company and one of the first in the world to build artificial intelligence based cyber antivirus technology with the help of their mentor Dr. Brejesh Lall Varun Seth, Founder & CEO of Matisoft Cyber Security Labs talks to Dr Vanita Srivastava about his startup, the challenges and way ahead

Please give a brief about your startup

This technology has solved a 40 year old problem of the antivirus industry and has been called disruptive by many industry experts. Today all antivirus depend on the same 4 decade old signature based technology and millions of dollars are being spent worldwide to develop a more advanced and useful technology. Till date only two more companies (both in USA) have been able to come up with a technology in this space. This is also one of India’s first known completely indigenously developed antivirus technology. We have been testing this technology at IIT-Delhi for over a year and have got exceptional results. Now we are in the process to launch this in the market.This technology is also extremely important for National Security, to protect our critical infrastructure so that they are not vulnerable to imported security products.

How and when did you get the idea for this startup?

I have been an ethical hacker for more than 15 years. Being in the cyber security field for so long, we discovered many problems of the conventional antivirus technology. It is not very difficult for any mediocre hacker to defeat a conventional antivirus within minutes. This is the reason why there are billions of viruses today & this number will grow exponentially with the increase in the number of connected devices. This led us to a lot of research on malware, artificial intelligence & antivirus. We came up with a software architecture & then took 5 years of gruelling hard work to build a technology prototype. Our product till today has passed hundreds of tests on around 25 thousand viruses flawlessly. It is pertinent to mention here that our technology is among the very few antivirus in the world to catch the recent Wannacry virus without needing any updates. Today the big cyber security organisations in the country have validated our technology and stand with us.

What were the main challenges that you faced?

It has been a very difficult journey till now as we had to face challenges at every step to reach where we are today. For almost 5 years we had to walk alone. Even when we developed the MVP we were looked upon with a lot of scepticism. Only after lots of testing and validations from the country’s renowned cyber security organisations, people started gradually believing in us. Today one of the biggest challenges we face is that the customers are hesitant to change to a new antivirus, thus increasing customer acquisition cost. Another challenge is to acquire the right talent as good cyber security professionals are expensive and scarce. But these are the challenges that also drive us and help us grow. After all a startup is expected to be able to work under constraints.

How do you compete with others in the market?

Antivirus is a very crowded market place with global, national and hyper-local players. However there is no product differentiation amongst these players. All of them use the same 40 year old signature based virus detection technique. There are only 2 more companies in the world which have come up in this space in the past 2 years and both are based in the Silicon Valley.

What is your technology based on?

The main premise of our technology is to make our software think like a human cyber security expert. We have emulated the brains of several cyber security experts into our technology. Thus our antivirus software has the logic and thought process of a human expert combined with the computational power of the computer. This combination acts as if several experts themselves are monitoring and protecting the computer and provides paramount protection against all types of viruses without the need for any updates.

What are the benefits to the customers?

This technology provides many benefits to our customers like:
Saves money: On internet usage as the technology does not require daily updates.
Catches brand new viruses: Because of Artificial Intelligence the engine can catch brand new viruses without any updates
Install & Forget: Everything is automatically handled as there is no need for manual scans and regular updates. In case of a virus attack the software will catch it, inform and with just a click delete the virus and clean the system.
Complete data protection: Does not lose any file/data to a virus attack with the help disinfect and recovery engine.
No daily updates required: The Artificial Intelligence based technology will be updated like any other normal application which might be around once in 30 days and still protect from brand new and old viruses.
Extremely light on your computer: The technology even works smoothly on old computers with less than 500 MB memory.
Laptop battery lasts longer: Because of low resource utilization the battery will last much longer compared to the conventional antivirus.

What is your future plan?

We plan to launch our antivirus in the market as a Saas. We will offer products for both B2C & B2B market. This will make us the first completely AI based antivirus for the consumer market. To help achieve this we have some of the best industry veterans on our company board as advisors. Within a year of India launch we have plans to enter international markets. We have also collaborated with IIT-Delhi to extend our technology into IOT & industrial embedded systems. Our vision is to be the most advanced cyber security company in the world providing security solutions for every type of connected device on planet.