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Interview: Palo Alto Network's founder and CTO, Nik Zur

Allan Swann | Feb. 5, 2014
Paints bullseyes on rivals, discusses new acquisitions and his plans for 2014 and beyond

At Palo Alto, we think that if your source code has ended up in China, then you're already kinda of screwed. You might want to stop this before it happens. We think this is the kind of problem that needs to be done with technology, not with more people. It's just not scalable.

AS: What are some of the emerging technologies you're picking for 2014?
NZ: There will be more focus on how security is deployed in a virtual datacentre. Part of it will be virtual firewalls, which we will sell better in 2014. But I think that will just be a small piece of the puzzle. The bigger focus will be the move of security to the virtual datacentre, and its integration with SDN.

Another area of focus in 2014 will be the integration with the end point. There are risks you can detect on the desktop much better and there are things at the endpoint you can detect much better. There needs to be much better integration between the two. All of these involve service provision by our partners.

AS: What are some of the longer term goals for the company?
NZ: Network security remains a huge market, its currently an $11 billion market and it will soon be $15-16 billion in a few years. Our market share today is less than 10 per cent. So there's a lot of time for us to grow in that market, and we're keeping our focus here.

Our goal is to continue to grow much faster than the market. Faster than our competitors. Juniper and Cisco talk a lot — we don't, and we're growing 40 per cent year over year.

AS: Can you maintain it?
NZ: I hope so. But the goal is to grow faster than the market and our competitors, and that is a goal we can make. We've been doing it for a long time and we can keep doing it, and we want to keep doing it.


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