Protection and Collaboration: How Foxit Extends Cybersecurity To PDFs (Forbes)

Recently, I’ve written extensively about the need for companies to have a balanced cybersecurity portfolio to ensure they are as protected as they can be against both internal and external threats. As part of that series, I emphasized that there’s no strategy or product that can offer you 100%, never-fail security – today’s hackers and threats are both too numerous and sophisticated. You are going to be attacked at some point, your systems will be penetrated, and so your cybersecurity portfolio should not be solely devoted to prevention or perimeter security. Like a strong investment portfolio, it must be balanced, and include tools that help with remediation, recovery, and detection.

Eugene Xiong, Chairman of Foxit

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Eugene Xiong, Chairman of Foxit

But in this new world of seeking a balanced security portfolio, the investments are now not just security technologies but other technologies. For example, an excellent, well-tested, robust backup system can make recovering from an attack much easier. Is that a cybersecurity investment? Directly no, but practically yes. Given that you can’t stop everybody from getting in, the continued evolution of cybersecurity means that it makes sense to consider protecting your assets themselves.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak with Eugene Xiong, the Chairman of Foxit Software, Inc. about the idea of protecting your individual assets. You may know Foxit as a PDF company that competes with Adobe, but the company has an undertaken an interesting new evolution that involves direct asset protection. As companies consider the range of cybersecurity tools on the market, one that is worth examining is direct asset protection of the kind Foxit provides. I explore this topic, as well as the history of Foxit, with Xiong and I believe our conversation can help inform businesses trying to grasp the complexities of the modern cybersecurity portfolio.

PDFs and SDKs

This eye towards connectivity and fostering collaboration is something that Xiong has helped Foxit pursue throughout the company’s existence. Xiong grew up in China, where he studied computer science. He started Foxit in 2001 after realizing that while PDFs were pervasive throughout the world, there were no viable alternatives to Adobe on the market. Foxit began as an alternative PDF reader to Acrobat. His goal was to make software that enabled people to work with PDFs more quickly and efficiently. “Most PDFs are very simple,” Xiong said. “Yet it was often very difficult to work with them.”

Foxit has grown significantly since that time, with over 450 million users today. The company grew by creating PhantomPDF, a tool to compete with Acrobat in the enterprise market. But the biggest mark of its success has been through Foxit’s software development kit, which allows developer to build applications with PDF capabilities. It’s now incorporated into Chrome and is the technology behind PDFium, Google’s open source project for Android and Chromium.

Yet even as Foxit had success redefining the PDF reader, Xiong also saw the need to change the way PDF security worked – and how users could interact across networks with PDFs.

Source: SANS ISC SecNewsFeed @ May 4, 2017 at 05:54AM

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