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iPolicy Networks

Network security is far from an easy task, with external threats, hardware vulnerabilities, and protection against future attack. To the rescue comes iPolicy Networks.

Network security is far from an easy task; not only are there external threats and hardware vulnerabilities, but companies have to think of different locations when pondering how to protect against future attack. To the rescue comes Fremont-based iPolicy Networks. Chairman and CEO Prabhu Goel talks about carriers, piecemeal solutions, and going holistic.

What kinds of challenges did you find in providing enterprise security when the company started?

iPolicy initially focused on the carrier and managed security services markets, which cooled off in 2001 and 2002. Before that happened, we had signed up one of the largest carriers in the world, and were generating substantial revenue from the deal. Unfortunately, other carriers were not investing in the opportunity. It was just a result of the recession and what was happening in the overall carrier space.

Clearly, the carrier industry began to shift in 2002 and we took note. That’s when we decided to leverage our substantial experience and to scale down our product to address the needs of the enterprise space. We decided to build on our experience with carrier-grade products and broaden our target market. We really saw that there was an opportunity for us to take our carrier-rugged solution and make it available to the enterprise.

What makes the company different from its competitors?

If you look at the way security was done in the past, you’ll see it is piecemeal. You have firewall and IDS in individual boxes, with their own management consoles in each location. There are very few options to coordinate the products in response to an attack between the different locations. And, it’s very difficult to ensure that corporate security policies are being consistently followed across all of the locations.

Instead of just putting point tools together in a box, we’ve actually built the product in a way that will allow dynamic collaboration of the various security technologies we offer. That means that the antivirus, URL filtering, IDS, IDP, and firewall functionalities are all working together in real time and with real-time correlation. This is in contrast to current offerings where point solutions collaborate after the fact. The problem with these patchwork solutions is that each packet is opened up again and again by each application inside that box adding layers of redundancy. So, as you add more applications, the performance of the appliance degrades.

From an enterprise standpoint we are relatively new to the market, however, we’re bringing a carrier-rugged product to the enterprise. Essentially, we’ve downscaled a carrier-grade product for the enterprise. Other security vendors have had to scale up their products when they try to service this category. That’s so much harder to do.

What do you like best about what you do?

For me, it’s a holistic experience. I get excitement from the entire environment: the growing security market, our product line, our lead over the competition, and the feedback that we are getting from customers about our products. And, the team we’ve pulled together is outstanding. They are a huge motivation to me.

How do you handle the fierce competition of the security market?

We are taking a leapfrog approach. This market rewards innovation and that’s what we are betting on. Our competition is behind us in terms of technology innovation. And we’re continuing to innovate and develop new products that will keep us ahead of the competition.

From our perspective, the world of security is going to show us a pace of change that we haven’t seen elsewhere because the rate at which hackers can create new threats is only going to increase. I hear over and over that adaptability and flexibility will be crucial to the future of any security solution.

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