The Cybersecurity Company Helping Sony Fend Off Hackers

FireEye-logo.png

In late November, Sony Pictures found its planned release of the Seth Rogen comedy The Interview turning into a disaster of cinematic proportions. Hackers had seized control of the studio's computer systems, leaking troves of sensitive information, including executive salaries and embarrassing emails. The studio canceled and then reinstated the film's theatrical release, costing Sony an estimated $15 million.
It was one of the best things to happen last year to FireEye
Though not a household name, the Milpitas, California-based Company has become a go-to security firm when big companies fall victim to cyberattacks. FireEye customers include recent cyber victims like Home Depot, JPMorgan Chase, Neiman Marcus, and Target; the CIA and the FBI have called the firm in for help with investigations. So when Sony's Los Angeles security team realized the studio's network had been breached, they asked FireEye to help figure out exactly what had happened and where the systems were vulnerable. That's the first step for many FireEye clients, most of which then ask the company to repair and improve their data defenses.
"We were founded on the idea that cyber­attacks would ultimately overrun all existing defenses. Now this has been overwhelmingly demonstrated," says Ashar Aziz, the company's founder, chief strategy officer, and vice chairman. 
FireEye developed its reputation by commercializing a security technique that creates a mirror image of a company's systems to assess the online threats it is facing. It's one of a new breed of startups benefiting from what is a growing, if dismaying, feature of 21st-century commerce: relentless hack attacks. Last year alone saw one billion files hit by 1,540 data breaches--a 46 percent increase in the number of attacks from 2013, according to security firm Gemalto.
There is still a lot of room for grow: FireEye, which went public in 2013, controls a small fraction of the roughly $9 billion global market for network security, according to research firm IDC. But despite increasing demand for its services, the company has yet to turn a profit, and lost $443.8 million last year.
Technology analysts tend to shrug off such losses at young security companies, which need to hire expensive engineers and ramp up their marketing spending as business grows. FireEye plans to continue running at a loss this year, which Aziz argues is a smart strategy given the mounting demands for its services in the current cyber environment. "The threat actors have not gone away through all of this," Aziz says. "They have only gotten bigger and better." And what's bad news for pretty much anyone else is excellent news for those in the business of fighting such cyber villains.
Inc.com:  http://bit.ly/1HQ04Kg

 

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