The information security marketplace is one where several large vendors are household names. Cisco, Symantec, McAfee, Checkpoint, etc. But there also lots of other outposts and pit stops on the road. Some are sleepy and dreary with little changing, others are dynamic and vibrant, with innovation bursting out all over. One of these areas is one that I have been following for several years. It is the security and network appliance management space.
This is an area that many of us don’t hear a lot about. You don’t see magic quadrants, you don’t see a lot of reviews. But it is an important and evolving piece of the puzzle. Part of the reason you may not be familiar with this segment is people don’t know what to call it. It used to be called firewall management, then security appliance management, security lifecycle management and so on. If you can’t name it, you don’t talk about it I guess.
What I am talking about though are those companies who are helping enterprises manage dozens of firewalls at a time. That is where this market started. Enterprises who had 10’s if not hundreds of firewall and routers. Not all of them from the same vendor either. How could you see where the risk was? How could you see what would happen if a change was made? What was the current posture? What would be the right configuration changes to make?
That is what drove this market. Firewall change management. Since then the players in this market have moved into risk management, managing other devices besides firewalls, compliance factors and MSSP features.
This is a market that is focused almost by definition on the large enterprise and has several successful, profitable companies. It is a market you should be aware of and familiar with its leaders.
So who are the leaders in the security device management space:
1. Tufin Technologies – I have followed and spoken to Ruvi Kitov, the CEO and Reuven Harrison, the CTO of Tufin for years. Tufin is an Israeli based company and is venture funded. They are a powerhouse in both EMEA and the US market. As far as I know they were the first to move into what they call “lifecycle management” of security devices. They have an excellent compliance management feature set. They also recently announced support for next gen firewalls like Palo Alto Networks.
Like some of the other leaders in the space, Tufin’s solution breaks down into a workflow and analysis module. Their workflow is open and a center piece of what they are working on. Their business is split about 50-50 between US and Europe, predominantly large enterprise with a strong presence in the financial sector. Profitable since 2005, they are a leader in the space.
2. AlgoSec – I recently became aware of AlgoSec and had a chance to meet with their CEO and VP of marketing at RSA. Just because I was unaware of AlgoSec doesn’t mean they are unknown though. Like Tufin they have over 700 customers, with a sizeable presence in the Fortune 500. Unlike Tufin they never took VC money and so are totally bootstrapped. They have been profitable for a long time. In fact their profits have fueled their recent expansion.
AlgoSec also originally founded in Israel, but is now HQ’ed and based here in Atlanta. They have offices throughout EMEA and the US. The customer base breaks down to about 50-50 to US and Europe. They also offer an analyzer and workflow solution in their product.
AlgoSec is an up and comer in the market and is probably 1-2 with Tufin in this space.
3. Firemon – Originally Firemon, then Secure Passage and now Firemon again, this was the first company/product I became familiar with in this space. Jody Brazil, Firemon CEO was the CTO for Gary Fish at Fishnet. Going back to 1997, FishNet needed a tool to manage some of their large customers firewalls. They developed Firemon in house, where it remained for many years.
Finally in 2004, Firemon was spun out as a separate company. They changed the name to Secure Passage, but have recently returned to the Firemon name. More than the previous two companies, Firemon has stayed loyal to the original mission of managing firewalls. Their feature set is really about change management and they don’t seem to be following some of the others in terms of expanded features.
Rumors are also rife that with Fish behind them, Firemon might be looking to acquire some technology to give them a competitive advantage versus some of the other companies.
4. Skybox Security – My old friend Gidi Cohen co-founded and still leads Skybox. Skybox like Tufin and AlgoSec was started by Israeli based entrepreneurs, but like AlgoSec is now I believe based in the US. Since Gidi started the company in 2002, the mission has changed. But the basic technology of Skybox is the same. They had great technology that would draw a 3d map of your network and show you where your risk was. That is still the heart of Skybox. Unlike the previous companies they come to this space from the risk management side. Showing where the risk is, is what they do best. Then managing the chances and policies are put into play.
For anyone who has not seen Skybox map your network it is a pretty cool thing. But probably AlgoSec and Tufin coming from the appliance management side of the house offer a little bit more of a full featured solution.
5. Red Seal – probably the company I know least about in the space, since 2004 Red Seal has raised more than 30 million dollars in VC money. Like Skybox they come from the risk management space but are putting a big push into the space. They don’t seem to have the strong workflow that AlgoSec and Tufin do. It is about monitoring and analysis for Red Seal.
6. Playbook by Matasano – How can I not mention the open source alternative? Playbook was developed by Matasano Security. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of some of the others. It is about firewall rule sync and empowering your firewall engineers to do their job easier.
So that is my take on this space. If you are familiar with any of these companies, I am interested in your take. I think overall the space is really coming into its own and we will see some of the big household names snapping some of these players up soon.