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eEye Stares Down Security Threats

eEye Digital Security has introduced new software to protect companies from known threats as well as "zero day" attacks, hacks that exploit an unknown vulnerability.

The offering, dubbed Blink, is deployed on servers, PCs and laptops running Microsoft operating systems. It contains several layers of defense. The first is an intrusion prevention tool that operates by stopping the activity that results from an attack rather than the signature of the attack itself.

Other defenses include: a rules-based system to block known viruses; firewalls to prevent unauthorized access to the machine and block unauthorized programs from running; and a vulnerability assessment scanner to find and report security holes.

Unlike some security offerings, Blink also allows IT managers control over the patching process -- allowing them to update when it makes the most sense for the business based on usage patterns.

eEye is selling Blink on a subscription basis for $56 per device annually (scaling with volume). For now, the only version available is for machines that run on Microsoft, but that will change.

"We're going to be building a Linux version next," eEye COO Firas Raouf told internetnews.com.

Because of the proliferation of attacks, the security space is growing rapidly. In the last year, large network equipment vendors have shelled out large sums for security software to integrate into gear that handle corporate packets. For example, Cisco bought Okena and Juniper scooped up NetScreen. There are also overlapping security products from companies like Foundstone, nCircle and Symantec, Raouf said.

But Raouf believes eEye has an advantage over better known rivals because of Blink's ability to prevent zero day attacks as well as usability of the product. The company has always had a single focus and history as a software development company -- not a consultant or integrator.

He expects Blink's appeal to cut across enterprise sectors, although early interest will likely come from the financial service sector and the government. Continental Airlines has tested the product, he said.

Raouf acknowledges that it won't be easy going up against much bigger players. To prepare, the privately held and venture-backed company is adding sales and marketing staffers to its current base of 120 employees.



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