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Is it possible to combine Latin with Zen? For Ubizen, that strategy worked not only to come up with the company name, but also to lay the foundation for their mission.

Is it possible to combine Latin with Zen? For Reston-based Ubizen, that strategy worked not only to come up with the company name, but also to lay the foundation for their mission: To build a global company that gives customers security and knowledge. John Wilson, Ubizen’s vice president and general manager of North America chats about ubiquity and the Army.

How did the company get started?

Ubizen was founded in 1995 and was actually a spin-off from the University of Leuven, which is one of the oldest universities in Europe. The three founders of Ubizen were previously students at the University and continue to lecture as time permits. The area around Leuven has also become an important high-tech center and is regarded as one of the top 10 high-tech areas in Europe.

Why was that name chosen?

Ubizen is actually a coined word. Ubi comes from the Latin-derived word ubiquitous. Zen is a Buddhist movement that emphasizes the achievement of knowledge through direct, intuitive insights and intense meditation. The name suggests both a global company founded on penetrating insights and an ever-present net of security, capable of distinguishing between authorized and unauthorized activities.

What got you personally interested in doing this work?

My experience in the United States Army has contributed most to my professional success. The most rewarding experiences involved working as a team, leading soldiers through difficult and occasionally life-threatening tasks, and interacting with people from vastly different ethnic, educational, and religious backgrounds. Joining Ubizen seemed to bridge my business and military experience together and offered a succession of intriguing, complex tactical and strategic managerial opportunities to analyze and solve.

Why do you think there’s a need for Ubizen’s services?

Any company conducting business on the Internet is focused on keeping Internet transactions secure. Ubizen’s primary business is delivering Internet security solutions to global businesses such as financial institutions and healthcare firms.

These businesses have installed firewalls, intrusion detection devices and other security devices to help keep their networks safe; however, they do not have the internal resources to manage the large number of data logs these devices generate each day. These companies chose to co-source the day-to-day management of the devices to Ubizen.

What does the company do for its clients?

Ubizen manages and monitors these devices remotely via one of their three Security Operations Centers. Our proprietary software called SEAM (State & Event Analysis Machine) analyzes millions of events each day and alerts security analysts only when it identifies a real security threat. SEAM also correlates activity between all devices managed and allows Ubizen analysts to detect, identify, and block sophisticated network attacks.

What are the largest challenges to providing managed security?

Managing security is not a static exercise, as hackers continually introduce new exploits and technologies change almost daily. Therefore, Ubizen stresses the importance of ongoing pro-active security measures, such as penetration testing and vulnerability assessments. It’s not enough to assess your security needs one time and then simply think you are secure. However, many businesses make this mistake.

What do you like best about what you do?

Cyber intrusions can be launched from anywhere, which makes our work demanding, fast-paced, and rewarding, both personally and professionally.

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