Check Point is the only major pure-play security company left, if CEO and founder Gil Shwed is to be believed.Speaking to about 500 partners and customers at the vendor’s annual CPX conference in Bangkok, Shwed took a clear shot at rivals RSA and Netscreen.“[Our rivals] have lost the focus of pure-play security to wider networking or storage infrastructure plays which leaves Check Point as the only major company to have a total focus on security,” he said.Speaking later at a media briefing, Shwed acknowledged that rivals like McAfee and Trend Micro continued to be pure-play security vendors, but claimed fell down when it came to having an overall security architecture vision.Elaborating, Jerry Ungerman vice chairman at Check Point said Shwed's comments indicative of a strategic direction aimed distancing Check Point from the current security infrastructure trend in favour of a position as the first choice as an overall security platform.“Customers are saying they want security in their routers, switches and OSes but they still want an independent security layer,” he said.“We believe security is a layer of its own and not something that is just in the switch or router.”Ungerman claimed customers were failing to see any advantage or synergy in acquisitions like Juniper/Netscreen or in Symantec/Veritas.“[End users] won’t buy security products from RSA just because EMC owns them,” he said.For its part, Check Point had largely finished unifying its product offering under the ‘NGX’ management platform, Shwed said.The company was currently moving towards a system on which all security products could be “universally updated.”Looking at Check Point’s wider business he said Check Point was also considering forming an OEM relationship with IDS/IPS vendor Sourcefire, Shwed said.Earlier in the year Check Point’s efforts to acquire the company were knocked back by the US government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.He also added that the company – head-quartered in Israel but listed on the Nasdaq - was not suffering any fall-out from the current military action in the region.“The Israeli economy is doing well,” he said. “But if anything, a weak Shekel against the dollar would help us as our R&D and other costs would be lower [against the US],” he said. Tim Lohman travelled to Bangkok as a guest of Check Point.
Issue: 324 | February 2014
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