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ThreatTrack CEO Explains Why GFI Spun Off Security Business

  • Read Jeff's in-depth interview with ThreatTrack CEO Julian Waits here.

GFI Software earlier this month spun off its security business into a new company called ThreatTrack, whose core assets came from the 2010 acquisition of Sunbelt Software. The move is aimed at creating a separate business targeted at large government agencies and enterprises such as big-box retailers and financial services firms. GFI will continue focusing on its heritage customer base consisting of small and mid-sized companies with fewer than 1,000 users.

Earlier this week, I spent a half-hour chatting with ThreatTrack's CEO Julian Waits, who has spent much of his career in the IT security industry, most recently as general manager of GFI's security business. Waits is a longtime friend of Walter Scott, CEO of GFI, and despite the plethora of companies that offer IT security software and services, the two believe they have a unique set of offerings such as ThreatAnalyzer, based on the company's SandBox technology.

In the interview, Waits emphasized his belief that despite the increased onslaught of attacks from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, enterprises need to take a more proactive stance in trying to predict where the next threat will originate. "I still believe 80 percent of security problems are risk management problems," Waits said. The company is using Cloudera's Hadoop distribution technology to use big data to more proactively predict future threats, Waits explained.

An encouraging development was President Obama's executive order announced last month for the government and private sector to share more information to protect the nation's critical infrastructure. The executive order promises to boost the amount of data that can be collected and analyzed, Waits said.

"The more of that data we can collect, the more fancy analytics stuff we can use to do our job a lot faster," he said. "There's no way we'll be able to anticipate an APT before it's created. God knows they're becoming more and more sophisticated. All we can do is become more sophisticated about how rapidly we can respond to it, and it's going to take a community to do that."

Waits said ThreatTrack has about 300 employees at its Clearwater, Fla. headquarters and is looking for a site in Washington, D.C. where it will staff 50 additional people. The company is also considering a presence in the San Francisco Bay area, Waits said. In addition, Waits indicated he'll be shopping for companies to acquire, especially those that can help ThreatTrack apply predictive analytics to the big data it collects.

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Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/27/2013 at 1:15 PM


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