Industries

Watchful eye

NetWitness guards against network intrusions

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Print this page by Joan Tupponce

Many security leaders in corporations and governments worldwide depend on NetWitness software products to watch for attacks on their computer networks.

“This pervasive and accurate visibility helps organizations resolve a wide variety of the most challenging cyber-security problems, such as insider threats and fraud, electronic crime, nation-sponsored attacks and data leakage problems,” says Chief Security Officer Eddie Schwartz.

The company’s products are in increasing demand at a time when countries around the globe are focused on security issues. “Our entire society has become part of the ‘network,’ ” Schwartz says. “The way we interact with our friends, family and our business relationships all depend on solid and secure networking.”

The company was acquired in early April by Massachusetts-based EMC Corp., a major information infrastructure solutions company. NetWitness will operate as a part of RSA, the security division of EMC.

“EMC and NetWitness share a complementary vision for the future of security management, work with the same types of industry-leading customers, and have a respect for each other’s cultures of innovation and growth,” says Amit Yoran, NetWitness’ CEO. Under EMC, he will continue to lead the business as senior vice president and general manager.

Schwartz and Yoran have an extensive background in security. Before the start of NetWitness, Yoran’s career included heading the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team and the National Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security. He also was CEO of In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the CIA.

Schwartz has a 25-year background in information security and privacy, specializing in the financial services and federal government sectors. He served as a technology management consultant for several large commercial and U.S. government entities such as ManTech, and Guardent and the U.S. departments of Justice and State.

“I have a very hard-core approach and attitude toward doing security monitoring the right way,” Schwartz says. “My passion for getting security right has carried forward into NetWitness.”
The company’s customer base is divided equally between public-sector enterprises and Global 1000 companies involved in financial services, high technology, utilities and energy. “We have many top clients [in many other areas], including health care, retail and more,” says Schwartz, who is unable to disclose the identity of the company’s customers or how its products are used because of security reasons.

When NetWitness was founded in November 2006, the company focused on sales in the United States. During the past four years, the company has opened operations in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia Pacific (Singapore, India and Australia). It now has 130 employees worldwide, the majority of whom work in Reston.

NetWitness has enjoyed steady growth since its inception. Revenues increased 400 percent in 2008. “In the years that followed that, we doubled in size every year in terms of bookings,” Schwartz says, adding that the company recently expanded into a 30,000-square-foot facility in Reston.

In 2010, the company was ranked 21st on the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing, privately held companies in the U.S.

The company’s latest offering, called NetWitness Spectrum, contains an application that allows organizations to detect and prioritize malicious computer programs targeting their networks. 
The recent trend of moving to cloud computing has prompted the company to add cloud-based products and services. “With virtualization and cloud computing, the IT organization’s loss of ‘command and control’ required security teams to place greater emphasis on comprehensive network monitoring, precise and real-time threat detection and actionable intelligence,” Schwartz says. 


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