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Ashar Aziz, founder and CTO, FireEye, shares why his company's offerings have no real competitors.

Yogesh Gupta | May 2, 2013
Ashar Aziz, Founder and CTO, FireEye, shares why his company's offerings have no real competitors.

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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