Webroot's big cloud gamble

CEO Dick Williams on the company's move to SaaS and competing for enterprise customers

Anti-malware vendor Webroot has bet the company on cloud.

In October of last year, the company stopped selling packaged software and moved to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. CEO Dick Williams says the switch improves the customer service model and takes the burden of managing updates off of the end user.

Will that approach help Webroot grow in the ultra-competitive software security market? As part of our ongoing IDG Enterprise CEO Interview Series, IDGE Chief Content Officer John Gallant spoke with Williams about cybercrime, the company's move to SaaS, expansion in the enterprise space, and more.

John Gallant: What is the unique positioning of Webroot in the security market? What makes Webroot different?

Dick Williams: We're taking all the work and hassle out of security, for individuals, for groups of individuals and larger groups of individuals. If you think about it, the security industry is really a lousy business. It's a miserable business in a lot of contexts, but mostly from the context of the actual users, the people who are supposed to be benefitting from it. The security industry is a big industry and yet what's the fastest growing industry in the world?

I assume it would be computer crime.

Cybercrime. It's actually the fastest growing industry in the world, and it's already larger than the security industry in total. And so there are more bad guys now than ever. There's more loss. There's more malicious activity going on. . So you step back from it and you say -- hey, wait a second, we're doing something wrong. The motivation now for a criminal to go online as opposed to stand in front of the bank is pretty significant, because the likelihood that they're going to be able to achieve their aims with a very low risk is very significant.

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