Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Green Border: The need to rebuild confidence in consumer online shopping

Posted by Tom Foremski - June 27, 2006

GreenBorder_logo.gifI recently met with GreenBorder Technologies, a security software company that offers an easy solution to virus, spyware, and trojan threats by isolating each Internet session from the rest of the PC and earlier Internet sessions.

The beauty of the Green Border Pro software is it doesn't need to be updated to guard against new virus signatures or new types of malware. It creates a secluded, virtual Internet session and when you are done, it flushes everything away, in your cache and in temporary files, etc. Once installed it does its work transparently--except for a green border around the page to indicate it is a safe Internet session.

For the past year it has been an enterprise product but it is now being rolled out to consumers, which is a good idea because it is one of those install-and-forget applications. Most of us are fed up of running tech support for our families, guarding home networks against infection and dealing with all the other support problems related to viruses and spyware. If Green Border does its job, that would free up a lot of family time.

I spoke with Bernard Harguindeguy, CEO, he said that he hopes that banks, ISPs and other online companies will help evangelize the product because it helps stop identity theft, stop trojans attacking web sites, and makes security easier.

"With most consumer security software the user is often asked to make security decisions during installation or during use. And that means they can make inappropriate choices. With our product it works in the background and the user is safe from any malicious software," says Mr Harguindeguy.

Jim Fulton, vp of marketing says that the year the product spent in enterprise environments has helped improve the software. "The consumer version doesn't require the same levels of control as the enterprise version making it simple to install and use."

Green Border is offering 10,000 free downloads then it intends to charge an annual license fee. It hasn't decided on pricing but it is considering a $40 per PC annual fee. That seems a bit steep to me, especially when households typically have many PCs sitting around on home networks, that can be a $200 annual bill for just one utility. Even if it is as good as advertised that's a chunk of change that most households won't be able to afford.

Green Border could provide a lot more value if it became part of a say a Yahoo, Google, or an Amazon toolbar. It could protect e-commerce transactions and guard against identity theft on a far larger scale than selling individual consumer licenses. And the big online sites would be able to encourage safe e-commerce before more and more people get burned and stay away from online shopping altogether.

Green Border won't protect from things like phishing, and the Nigerian scams, which are based on social engineering to con money out of people. The social engineering threats are best tackled by educating computer users, and Green Border has materials that show users how to identify and avoid scams and other nefarious activities.

About GreenBorder Technologies

Headquarters: Mountain View, California
Founded: 2001
Funding: Private
Investors: Texas Pacific Group (TPG) Ventures,
Sevin Rosen Funds,
Labrador Ventures
Management: Bernard Harguindeguy, Pres. & CEO
Joanne Syben, VP Engineering
Jim Fulton, VP Marketing
Babak Salimi, VP Bus. Dev.

Download Green Border here.

Press release is here: GreenBorder Launches Web Security Software.

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