F-Secure Plans ‘Cool’ Consumer Cloud Products

F-Secure has new products on the way. CEO Christian Fredrikson says they will cooler and more attractive than Dropbox

F-Secure won’t be your typical anti-virus company in the coming years, as it plans a big push in the consumer cloud market over the next year, the CEO has told TechWeekEurope.

The Finnish firm has been working on consumer cloud storage and sync for some time, but doing so in a white label fashion, providing the back-end and code for the BT Cloud, amongst other telecoms firms.

But now it feels the time is right to bring a range of products to market with its name stamped all over them. It’s not quite a reinvention, but the company is certainly changing.

F-Secure chief on strategy shift

A number of reasons have led Christian Fredrikson, F-Secure’s chief, to this strategy shift, one of which is the need for privacy amongst general users.

F-Secure HQThat has only intensified since the leaks of Edward Snowden revealed widespread surveillance involving compliant tech companies. F-Secure, with its background in security and its position in Europe, thinks it has the right background to host privacy conscious users’ content.

Fredrikson believes other providers haven’t engaged the consumer in the cloud enough either. A recent survey sponsored by the company, not released in the UK, sought to find out which consumer cloud services were being actively used across the world.

In Europe, Facebook, which rarely describes itself as a cloud company, was far and away the most commonly used site to upload content, as 31 percent of respondents said they used the site for that purpose. Only nine percent said Dropbox.

Fredrikson thinks cloud storage providers like Dropbox have not quite mastered making their services consumer friendly places, where users want to upload, view and control content. That’s where F-Secure is set to come in, although the CEO isn’t revealing what exact products are being cooked up in the company’s HQ (pictured).

Cloud storage is “boring” and “has to be seen as an experience”, adds Allen Scott, UK managing director for F-Secure.

“It’s a heck of an opportunity for us,” Fredrikson says. “It’s a crowded market… we need to be different, cool, and engaging.” He says new products will hit before the year is up.

The company has five data centres spread across different continents, so is well-placed to offer cloud services to consumers and the SMB market globally.

F-Secure’s shift in strategy can also be seen as symptomatic of a declining anti-virus industry. Numerous providers are having to branch out to different services as AV becomes less and less effective at protecting against modern malware.

AVG recently told TechWeek of its plans to place greater focus on functions such as consumer-focused mobile device management, offering tools such as data wiping and phone tracking.

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