The Robin Hood of Internet Security

Image One of the most important problems today is Internet and computer security. Both the security of personal information and the security of computers are at risk in many ways. Melih Abdulhayoglu, a businessman from Antakya, has one of the world’s largest Internet security companies in an industry of significant importance. Abdulhayoglu is the founder and owner of Comodo. The company is growing by fifty percent every year and employs over 1000 people in its offices in six countries. Comodo is the world’s second largest digital SSL certificate program provider.
Abdulhayoglu started in the industry by renting computer games in a small office in England. In the anti-virus market, companies such as Norton, Panda, McAfee, TrendMicro, and Kaspersky are competing with each other. Abdulhayoglu offers anti- virus software to Internet users free of charge. Abdulhayoglu talks about his start in the field, his competitors, his firm, and plans for Comodo’s recently opened office in Turkey.

To talk about your career and life story, how did you decide to get training abroad and establish an Internet security company?
I was born in Antakya in 1968. I completed my primary, secondary education and high school in Antakya. I was not so successful at school; I failed two years of secondary level education and high school. I always wanted to be an electronics engineer and I was addicted to electronics. I made my first electronic circuit when I was 9. I went to England for graduate education and I realized my dream at the University of Bradford. There was nothing like game renting in computers in the 1990s. Renting games became possible due to the device that I developed. I opened a small office just for game renting in England. My business life started this way; however, I didn't want to stay there a game renter. I was more interested in the field of Internet security. I established Comodo in June in 1998. There was a building allocated for the textile department at the University of Bradford where I studied. However, the building was put up for sale as textile production stopped in the country, so I bought it. We started to work in a part of the building as Comodo. That was the beginning of how Comodo was founded in England.

Comodo is the first company offering a "virus-free guarantee" in the anti- virus market in the USA. Furthermore, in comparison with your competitors, you offer your software to the users free of charge. Could you explain how Comodo is different from the competition in this respect?
Comodo’s aim is to create a secure medium on the Internet. We started out with the phrase of “Creating Trust Online.” Comodo is the only company producing anti-virus and SSL (secure socket layers) security certificates in the world. It is different from its competitors in this respect. Our competitors operate either in the field of anti-virus or SSL only. However, we are active in both. In a word, we are competing against the SSL producers such as VeriSign and some antivirus companies such as Norton. It is certified through the tests carried out by independent organizations in the field of anti-virus that Comodo offers provides 100% protection against viruses. For example, according to the test of Norton's anti-virus program of Internet Security 2010 and Comodo Internet Security Premium Free 5.0 anti-virus program, Norton's product offers 90% protection while Comodo provides 100% protection. We are not only a good Internet security programmer but also we provide a better protection against new virus and malware programs.
Comodo is on the top 10-list in the anti-virus market; we ensure the security of many prestigious companies and organizations in America. As of late, we have entered into application agreements for thousands of certificates in order to ensure that the web pages of 120 universities and colleges around the USA are more secure. We have started to issue SSL certificates. We have surpassed VeriSign in the North American market. We are growing by 50% per year in the user field.

Did you have any special reason for choosing the name Comodo?
While choosing a name for the company, we were inspired by the name of one of the thousands of Indonesian islands, the Island of Komodo. The island takes its name from the komodo, which is the world's largest living lizard. The komodo hunts strategically. It first poisons its prey and then waits for it to die. We at Comodo believe in the importance of a patient strategy as the way to reach the target. Thus, we chose the name of our company to be Comodo, with a "C," for this reason.

Do you have offices in countries other than the USA?
We took Comodo to the state of New Jersey in the USA from England in 2004. We have more than 1,000 employees around world. We have opened offices in England, India, Ukraine, Romania, China, Japan and finally the office in Turkey. More than half of our employees are engineers; the rest work in the sales and marketing department. We are going to offer all Comodo products to Turkish customers with 20 employees in our office in Turkey that opened recently. Additionally, Comodo’s product, the PC doctor Geek Buddy, will be offered for the first time to the market by our office here with a Turkish language option.

What are Comodo’s goals and strategies?
Our strategy is to make the Internet a secure medium. It is not fair to sell a computer to people for $400 and demand $300 for the computer’s security. It is something like selling a car for $3,000 and expecting one to spend $1,500 to fill it up. Our goal is to make Comodo number one in the field of global Internet security. We have the potential and the power.

Comodo, based in the USA, is among the world’s top 10 companies in the field of Internet security. The company has entered the Turkish market. What would you like to say about the market in Turkey?
The Turkish market is very important for us. The number of Internet users reaches up to 35 million and there is a dynamic young population. Our purpose in coming to Turkey is not only to market our products and transfer our sales profit to America. After evaluating the essential performance in two years, we want to start production in Turkey and develop our new products in Turkey with the help of our engineers. We consider Turkey a market, not only as a place to sell a product. We wish to create an environment giving young Turkish engineers an opportunity in Turkey’s market, as Comodo is a Turkish company and produces the technology. I believe that two young entrepreneurial friends putting their signatures on good jobs in the publishing industry for about 10 years and knowing the market well will take a critical role while we are progressing to achieve our aims in Turkey’s market.
What are the inadequacies and to-dos that you have realized in Turkey in terms of the IT sector?
Actually, I have not closely followed the development of Turkey’s IT sector; however, I gladly see that the governmental support has increased for Turkey’s IT sector. The speed of the technology companies in offering new technology to users and people’s curiosity about technology is really remarkable. The rate of the application of the tablet computer for 15 million school-age children, the opening of a new Technopark by the Istanbul Commercial Office in Istanbul, the steps taken toward the establishment of the Silicon Valley of Turkey constitute a promising progression for the future. I believe that the challenges will decrease due to the developing cooperation among Turkey’s universities, private sector and government.

Turkey’s Comodo Has Become the Favorite Anti-virus Brand
Comodo has become the favorite among anti-virus brands. According to research on the site of, which follows and analyzes the comments of over 180 million opinions from more than 33 million social media users, the most hated anti-virus brand is McAfee at 89%. The rate of positive comments for Comodo has reached up to 96%; 1,806 people have given an opinion about Comodo’s products and 1,737 of them have made positive comments.

Recently Comodo has signed an agreement with the Middle East Technical University (METU), Turkey's first Technopark, to establish a technology transfer and R & D center. Comodo will employ students and graduates of the university's Computer and Electronics Engineering department.

(Source: Turkey Magazine, Dudu Kutuk)
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07