Ashar Aziz, Founder and CTO, FireEye, shares why his company's offerings have no real competitors.
CW: You're founder, CTO, chief strategy officer, and vice chairman of the Board. Isn't that a lot of roles?
Aziz: Yes. I have a lot on my plate. But the reality is that I always juggled different roles. During FireEye's initial days, I was also CEO and VP [of sales and marketing]. All start-ups require that kind of effort and multi-tasking capabilities. Technology innovation interests me the most as I am an innovator at heart.
CW: The last few quarters have been power-packed with David DeWalt joining as CEO, Enrique Salem [former CEO of Symantec] joining the board, and $50 million [about Rs 272 crore] in funding. Is an IPO on the cards too?
Aziz: If an IPO happens, then it will be a financing step for the progress of the company, not an outcome we necessarily seek. Our immediate aim is the standardization of a new security architecture across all enterprise applications.
We believe that its time to bring next-generation architecture to the security market. The threats have proven the ineffectiveness of incumbent offerings. The market is ripe for a next-generation security company. We have introduced many products which are fully integrated.
CW: You speak of tackling next-generation security challenges like zero-day threats and APTs. Do you sometimes feel ahead of the times?
Aziz: It depends on the understanding of different buyers in their respective markets. In the APAC region, the threat of cyber-attacks is at an all time high. There is a diverse and complex threat landscape out there which is occasionally disclosed when a big corporation is attacked. The good news is that awareness has improved dramatically in APAC in last few years.
CW: Palo Alto's has an anti-malware cloud-based technology called WildFire, and McAfee through ValidEdge sandboxing technology is developing an on-premise product line. Do these developments threaten FireEye?
Aziz: They create noise in the market but they do not really have comparable technology. We address security issues through a multi-vector, on-premise appliance which resides inside the enterprise architecture covering Web, e-mail, file, and mobile. Our competitors have only scratched the surface of what we do through virtual execution architecture. They are copying our marketing message. There is a big difference in talking like we have been talking and delivering products that we do today.
CW: So, FireEye has no competitors.
Aziz: I believe that in terms of a full portfolio we have no real, direct competitor. There are marketing competitors. But if you look at our solutions for Internet and Web gateways, e-mail architecture, file, and mobile, they probably do compete in bits and pieces. They do not have a full e-mail or file solution. They claim to have the entire story, but it isn't really true.
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