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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.

CW: Is sandboxing the miracle cure for all kinds of security threats that modern organizations have been looking for?

Aziz: I don't use sandboxing, as the technology has a number of limitations. I prefer to use the phrase 'dynamic analysis and virtual execution.' Those are potent weapons when compared to simple bit-pattern matching like in the AV or IPS industry. Our dynamic analysis and virtual execution platform is much more powerful. It brings a whole new dimension of analysis capability into the enterprise network. Our multi-vector virtual execution (MVX) engine is a unique, core platform.

Sandboxing is misnomer. Multi-vector execution is the right term. FireEye is the only company delivering protection against multiple vectors of attack on file, Web, e-mail, and mobile.

CW: You collaborate with McAfee and RSA for some of your solutions. Isn't it tough to maintain competition in such a landscape?

Aziz: We have a joint GTM with many technology partners. Our technology is integrated with dozens of security vendors for end-point analysis, log analysis, etcetra. We want to empower the ecosystem, be it MSPs, on-premise, or product companies. We are open to partnerships as we believe that next-generation architecture will truly be integrated with threat intelligence by a technology like the MVX engine.

CW: Security is a prime breeding ground for M&A as--there's McAfee-Intel, SonicWall-Dell, Astaro--Sophos. Does that pose a challenge?

Aziz: The fact that it is a dynamic market is good for us. Not because so many players are involved, but because the threat landscape is dynamic. That is an opportunity for FireEye as we have delivered innovative solutions in spite of bigger players in the market. We are a well-accepted company purely because the market reacted to true innovation, innovation that solves hard problems and delivers value addition. We are disrupting many existing players in the market because they have not, quite frankly, innovated for a long time.

CW: Appliances will cease to exist, as many security companies believe that software--on-premise or virtual--will be sufficient to secure an enterprise. What are your thoughts?

Aziz: It is not a question of form factor but the relevance of functionality. Providing on-premise function is important as we have been working with intelligence agencies, banks, stock exchanges, etcetera, who want security analysis inside their network. How you make that happen, either through an appliance or via software, is secondary. A large portion of the market wants security analysis on-premise. The virtual analysis happens in our appliance which is inside the enterprise's network.

CW: What are the opportunities and roadblocks for FireEye and its channel partners in India?

Aziz: We are actively working with distributors, channel partners, systems integrators, and MSSPs. We are handpicking a limited number of channel partners as we want to engage with the right set to target potential customers. The only obstacle is understanding the complicated area of cyber-attacks and there we can assist partners through training programs.


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