Celebrating 30 years of continuous progress and innovation

Next story
Michael Klatte

"Nothing is as constant as change," as the saying goes. It is therefore all the more remarkable when companies today operate successfully on the market for many decades. And this happens even more rarely in the IT industry, which feels like it is in a permanent a state of transformation. Many famous brands and products from the early days of the Internet have since disappeared. Not ESET. The company from Bratislava, Slovakia, has skillfully and innovatively maneuvered through the storms of the digital sea. In the process, the security manufacturer grew continuously from year to year. We take a look back at the milestones in ESET's history.

35 years ago: The first antivirus software
Did you know that the founding of ESET is closely linked to the name Vienna? However, despite the city’s  proximity to ESET headquarters in Bratislava, the connection between the two is more digital in nature.

At the beginning of ESET's corporate history in 1987, the Iron Curtain separated Austria from what is now Slovakia, where the antivirus manufacturer was founded and still has its headquarters. At that time, young programmers Peter Paško and Miroslav Trnka discovered one of the first computer viruses, a member of the Vienna family - at the Bohunice nuclear power plant. The two programmers then wrote a program to detect it. This laid the foundation for the NOD antivirus product line. Incidentally, the acronym NOD stands for "Nemocnica na Okraji Disku", translated as "The Hospital on the Edge of the Disk", which is an allusion to the then popular Czechoslovakian hospital series "The Hospital on the Edge of Town". Speaking of allusions: The company name is no accident either, but refers to the Egyptian spelling of the goddess Isis.

But before ESET became ESET, a few more years passed and brought political changes. Although NOD was a very advanced program for the time, when computer viruses were largely harmless gimmicks and could only spread to a limited extent via physical media such as floppy disks without the Internet, distribution was limited at the beginning. The company headquarters was a private garage, where the floppy disks were formatted and packaged. Social and economic changes took hold in 1990, when NOD was sold in Austria for the first time. However, under the name Stopvir.

30 years ago: Founding of the ESET company
In 1992, ESET was founded in Bratislava, then still part of the former Czechoslovakia. And in 1995, the first retail version of NOD32, called NOD iCE, was launched.

With Slovakia joining the European Union in 2004, ESET also became the European company as it has always felt itself to be. The clear commitment to European values and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as well as the written guarantee to refrain from backdoors of any kind, gives today’s customers peace of mind more than ever.

Today, ESET is better and bigger than ever before. Well over 2,000 employees now work for ESET worldwide: at the headquarters in Bratislava, in the 30 regional offices and branches, and at its 13 globally distributed research and development centers. In 2021, the company once again achieved record sales and is heading for new highs in 2022. The portfolio now includes around 60 different products and caters to the needs of private customers, businesses of all sizes and government and non-governmental organizations. The company has long since evolved from a pure antivirus manufacturer into a broad-based IT security solutions provider, and is now considered the largest and most successful provider in the European Union.

With the construction of the ESET Campus in Bratislava, the company founders continue forward with their vision. Built sustainably, working with the future in mind: the new headquarters will serve as a center for technology and innovation. The site covers a total of 55,000 m², with the designed work supplied by the world-renowned architectural firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.

Follow our Progress, stay Protected.