President’s 2015 GIT Award: Sargsyan believes in “antivirus” against “backwardness and ignorance”

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said on Tuesday he believes that the world will eventually find the “antivirus” against “backwardness and ignorance” as he gave his annual presidential Global IT award to Eugene Kaspersky, a top Russian information security specialist known worldwide for his antivirus software.

“Today we see how regressive forces are rising worldwide and these forces try to stifle the modern world and the ideology of advancement,” Sargsyan said at the ceremony in his Palace.

“I don’t know if Mr. Kaspersky knows what antivirus we need to fight this evil, but I am sure that the modern world will prove flexible and wise enough to eventually find the antivirus to protect itself from this evil,” said the Armenian leader in an apparent reference to the unprecedented terrorist attacks on France last week.

On November 14, the day after shootings and bombings in Paris perpetrated by groups affiliated with the Islamic State Sargsyan joined the chorus of international condemnation of the attacks in which at least 129 people were killed and hundreds others were wounded. The Armenian leader also attended a candle vigil in central Yerevan staged in memory of the victims of the Paris attacks on Saturday night.

In his remarks last night Sargsyan expressed his conviction that the “antivirus” against evil will come in the form of a “triumphant response of modernity and advancement.”

At the ceremony recognizing the outstanding contribution of Kaspersky, a 50-year-old Chief Executive Officer of Kaspersky Lab, a Moscow-based IT security company, to the global IT industry, Sargsyan also spoke about the current state of the IT sector in Armenia and the government attention to its development.

“Combing the efforts of the state and private sectors we have managed to turn this sector into a really strategic one. And the most reassuring thing here is the continuous involvement of our young people in this sphere,” the Armenian president said.

Kaspersky, whose lab’s antivirus software is used by virtually every computer user in former Soviet countries and beyond, gave a lecture to students at the State Engineering University of Armenia in Yerevan earlier on Tuesday during which he also spoke about the modern trends in the cyber security industry.

In his remarks at the award ceremony Kaspersky pledged to continue his work aimed at providing information security in the world and do it even better. He said that the Armenian president’s GIT award was a “serious incentive” for that.

“We should save this world and not just the cyber world, but the entire world, because today there is no longer a difference between the traditional physical world and the cyber space,” the antivirus mogul said.

The Armenian President’s GIT Award that honors individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to humanity through advancing the world of IT was instituted in 2010.

The previous laureates include retired CEO/Chairman of the Board of Intel Corporation Craig Barrett; co-founder of Apple Computers, Inc. Steve Wozniak, Chairman Emeritus of Synaptics, Inc. Federico Faggin, President of Technovision Consulting and Board Director of Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Tsugio Makimoto and Chief Development Officer of Sysco Systems, Inc., Mario Mazzola.

One of the objectives of the award is to bring to Armenia leading IT sector individuals, thus raising the profile of the country and its recognition in the world IT industry.