by Laura Yecies
ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 2009 is now here! Congratulations team, and thank you to all our ZA customers who helped in the beta testing to make this our safest, fastest and easiest release to date.
A new UI, improved system efficiency and core security enhancements such as a new-and-improved ID Theft prevention system, rootkit blocking and Early Boot Protection defense all come together to make things easier and more secure for you. You’re protected earlier and better. With One-Click Fix It, it’s now easier than ever to keep your ZA up-to-date against new attacks. You can read more here: http://www.checkpoint.com/press/2008/zonealarm-suite-8.html
It’s always hard to explain to people, even friends and family, what kind of effort and coordination goes into a successful launch. It’s like an orchestra playing Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances from start to finish, with all the different elements playing in concert, ebbing and flowing, building and breaking and on and on.
Rather than regurgitate product features, I thought I might give you a little insight into how a ZoneAlarm product and development lifecycle works. It all starts with our security and product experts. On an ongoing basis, these exceptionally bright and dedicated folks closely watch the threat landscape and brainstorm ways to protect you against new attacks. At the same time, we’re evaluating our current code, looking for places to tighten things up or add incremental value, either from a security or usability perspective.
Our launch scheduling is a little different than the competition. Most security companies have scheduled releases at predetermined times of year (IE a Spring and a Fall release). At ZoneAlarm, we make updates and add features as needed and as available. This reduces unneeded product launches and gives us the flexibility to keep improving the product incrementally on the fly.
So once our security and product teams decide what features are needed to strengthen security, they get to work on creating development scrums (alluding to the old rugby practice of a single team working together to advance the ball…no Hail Mary’s here!). The scrum method allows us to build components and features and be ready to release at anytime. You may or may not have noticed, but it’s not unusual for us to do a software update with minor changes or enhancements. Often, these upgrades go out with very little fanfare but have huge benefits because they can immediately protect against brand-new attacks. You just see that an update is available. We love having this flexibility and not having the rigidity of twice-a-year blowout releases.
When we do have major releases, that’s when the marketing team gets involved. It’s their job to let you know what’s in the product so you can take advantage of it, without getting scared off by some techie lingo. We spend a lot of time trying to make sure we tell our story in a way that makes it easy for you to understand the benefits of a new ZA release.
I hope that helps. We’re very excited about ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 2009. We look forward to your feedback!