NWME: What brings you to town?
Lebeck: Middle East is a key region for us. I wanted to meet the customers here and find out what is unique about the region. I have already toured Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and what struck me was that there are a lot more businesses here than I imagined, and a desire to have the latest cutting edge technology. A lot of emerging markets are happy with second generation technologies and in this region, it is all about what is current and cutting-edge.
NWME: How did this joint venture come about?
Lebeck: Symantec has been desirous of two things. First was the access to the Chinese market, and invest in development here. Symantec has historically been a software company and they wanted to foray into hardware, so this joint venture is intended to make storage and security appliances, which is complimentary to Symantec’s business.
We have two main brands – Secospace for security and Oceanspace for storage. We offer SSDs, design our own ASICs, storage servers based on Intel CPUs, which is used by many ISPs for highly distributed applications, and traditional SAN and NAS devices. We have also developed a distributed file system, which is scalable across the whole data centre, where thousands of nodes are required.
On the security side, our offering includes firewalls, VPNs, Service Inspection Gateways (SIGs), and terminal security management products.
NWME: What is your value-proposition?
Lebeck: We believe in delivering solutions to our customers, not just the hardware. We have combined carrier class hardware platform from Huawei with industry leading enterprise software from Symantec to deliver unique value.
We are very well established in the carrier market and in the Chinese market, where we are one of the top security and storage vendors. We have been in business a little over two years, and the first year was focused on China and global penetration of the carrier market with Huawei. This year, we are looking to branch out and penetrate the non-China enterprise market.
NWME: How should enterprise go about protecting their networks in the face of changing threat landscape?
Lebeck: First of all, start with good policies internally. Today, most threats are able to penetrate corporate networks because people don’t keep their systems up to date. Once you have a good information security in place, you need to have good endpoint protection and perimeter defense in place. What is really key is that with new breed of threats such as botnet using multiple entry points and coordinated attacks you need to have a global understanding as to what is going on. Having a presence in both endpoint and perimeter allows us to do a better job and coordinate efforts against attacks.
NWME: What will be the impact of virtualization and cloud computing on enterprise security?
Lebeck: Security becomes very important when you talk about software-as-a-service, and Infrastructure-as-a-service. You need to have a stricter and flexible security model. WhileVPN works for a typical data centre environment, when you start to have a distributed application model, you are forced to think about security in a different way. We are working on next-gen firewalls, that will support virtualized and distributed environments, and allow companies to securely communicate across disparate locations.
NWME: With more and more security features being baked into networking gear, do you think there is a future for stand-alone products?
Lebeck: You still need purpose-built appliances for high-performance environments. However, enterprises are looking for more consolidations, as they don’t want to have too many devices to manage. We do exactly that by providing secure router gateways, which provide all security functions, in addition to routing, Wi-Fi, 3G, and DSL.