WatchGuard's Thurber Touts APT Detection Service To Channel

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WatchGuard Technologies is adding a new cloud-based service designed to analyze suspicious files that the company's new channel chief believes will be a significant revenue opportunity for partners.

The Seattle-based UTM appliance maker says it's new APT Blocker service provides users with more immediate threat protection from custom malware and more advanced threats that often bypass traditional security software. The service is sold through WatchGuard's licensing arrangement with Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Lastline Inc., which analyzes files in a virtual sandbox to detect web, email, file and mobile threats.

"We think it is an important product and an important technology, but there is education around this with the partners and a need to drive the message around advanced malware detection," said WatchGuard channel chief Alex Thurber, the company's vice president of sales.

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The new offering is supported as a stand-alone service by all of the company's appliances. Annual pricing depends on the license period and on the size of the appliance, and ranges from about $90 for small, single appliance installations to $13,400 for larger, distributed enterprise installations. Threats that are detected through APT Blocker will be added to WatchGuard's cloud-based Reputation Enabled Defense (RED) service to protect all WatchGuard customers, Thurber said.

Malware infections are increasingly driving up costs for businesses, said Carl Mazzanti, CEO of eMazzanti Technologies. Mazzanti said the firm grew its WatchGuard business by 38 percent last year. It's established customer base, which include retailers and health are providers that require additional safeguards to meet compliance mandates, require appliances that are properly configured to detect and prevent threats targeting their data, Mazzanti said.

"The cost structure of the toolsets to attack the customer base has become so inexpensive and prevalent that just about anyone can do it," Mazzanti said. "I'm sure our highly regulated customers are going to be the first to adopt the service, because it is really not an option for them."

NEXT: The Rush Toward Advanced Threat Protection

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