Okena Builds Channel For Intrusion-Prevention Software

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Okena is looking to the channel to boost sales of its intrusion-prevention software.

Executives at the company, based here, said they are building a network of partners, including large national integrators, regional security integrators and managed security providers.

Unlike intrusion-detection systems, which are reactive and dependent on signature updates, Okena's intrusion-prevention software takes a proactive, application-centric approach, company executives said.

The software intercepts application requests to the operating system and compares them with a company's security policy to determine which calls are allowed and which aren't, said Ted Doty, director of product management.

Okena recently released a new version of its flagship product, StormWatch, which features a modular format for enabling security policies, and a user-friendly installation process.

George Milliken, CEO of Farm9, a managed security firm based in Oakland, Calif., said the security industry has lost sight of the fact that customers want to prevent security breaches, which is what Okena's software does.

"That [prevention is really what customers want to buy," he said.

The latest release of StormWatch is more refined and easier to install, Milliken said. The software works on the Windows 2000 and NT platforms, which is what many customers are using, he added.

John Noonan, vice president of business development at Okena, said the company's technology offers solution providers the opportunity to sell not just products, but services. The software can be customized to the end user's environment, creating service opportunities, he said.

Because intrusion prevention is a new category, Okena's technology can provide partners with a way to differentiate their security practice, Noonan said.

Okena offers partners training, sales leads and marketing support. The company, which was founded in 1999, has signed 17 solution provider partners so far.

Pricing for StormWatch 2.1 starts at $3,500 for the management console, $1,285 for the server agent and $55 for the desktop agent. Okena offers margins ranging from 25 percent to 30 percent.

Okena last week unveiled StormSystem, which executives described as an integrated system for intrusion prevention. The central piece of the system is StormWatch. Another piece is StormFront, which works with StormWatch to analyze the behavior of applications and generates secure operating policies.

Okena is developing additional products that will be added to StormSystem, including StormTrack. Due later this year, the tool will identify unprotected components and close exposures, the company said.

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