The age of the Internet has created a new worldwide threat: the information breach. Once thought to be a side effect of the holiday season, when credit card use is at its highest, today information hacks frequently strike year-round. In 2015 alone, credit card breaches were reported at major retailers, such as CVS (CVS), the UK’s Carphone Warehouse and Trump Hotels. Healthcare providers, such as Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, UCLA Health, and Anthem also reported that client records, including personal information and claim reports, were compromised.
Furthermore, credit card and social security numbers aren’t the only pieces of personal data that people have to worry about being exposed. In arguably the most salacious hack to date, a massive Ashley Madison data breach exposed millions of users seeking an affair.
Protecting information databases, regardless of the nature of that information, has become top priority across various markets. VirtualArmour International Inc. (VAI:CNX), an information technology company that provides advanced network and cybersecurity solutions, is looking to not only provide said services, but to act as a cybersecurity safeguard for their clients.
The Early Days of Cybersecurity
In the early 2000’s, Netscreen, prior to being purchased by Juniper, was a force in the sector. Netscreen was the first step towards hardcore firewall environments as they started to look at traffic management, understanding what was coming through, and understanding how to encrypt the right traffic. In response, VirtualArmor was founded in 2001 by a team of networking and security industry experts. “At the time Netscreen came into market, they were doing very large appointments, so almost every Fortune 100 company was using them,” said Christopher Blisard, founder of VirtualArmor. “In turn, we started Virtual Armor and quickly got indoctrinated into being a kind of Delta-like team for Netscreen in doing their largest deployments.”
VirtualArmor noticed that customers at the time were buying the products that they didn’t know how to manage. At the same time, Netscreen had produced an expensive and complicated software management toolset that was difficult for even large companies to understand and deploy. Just as the company began to look at the opportunity of developing and bringing to market managed services around the Netscreen products, Netscreen was acquired by Juniper.
The Right Solution for the Right Problem
In their effort to provide the right solution to solve client issues, VirtualArmor has created technology partnerships with companies that include Juniper Networks (JNPR), IBM (IBM), OpenGear, and VMware, Inc. (VMW). As the old adage goes, never try to fit a round peg into a square hole. “The world and the landscape of security has really changed, and for the fact that you’ve got to have a portfolio of companies that support you as an individual organization to not only manage and monitor solutions that you're deploying, but also fend off these types of attacks and understand what they mean,” said Blisard. “What we've seen as a massive transition in that space from offering a managed security service to really becoming a guardian for these companies.”
The company’s latest innovation, the Cloudcastr, is the fast track to a network functions virtualization (NFV)-powered cloud. Eliminating guesswork and speeding up time to market for new cloud services, Cloudcastr allows VirturalArmor the ability to go into an organization and completely set up a full cloud with whatever requirements that company requires. VirtualArmour then integrates a managed security service to help that company manage and support their cloud.
“I think with the development of our CloudCaster Technology, the ability for us to now go to our customer and instead of them going to IBM to get their cloud or to Amazon.com (AMZN) web services to get their cloud or this or that, we can actually go in, customize a cloud, integrate our platform and do it and give them a complete, thoughtful, holistic solution to running their business.”
Offering solutions to help enterprises build, monitor, maintain and secure their networks, VirtualArmor can typically respond to a cyber-attack within 15 minutes. With a primary security operations center located in Middlesbrough, U.K. and a secondary SOC location in Salt Lake City, Utah, VirtualArmor's services run 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.
The NFV Age
With new compute consumption models rapidly changing the way IT services are delivered, NFV is emerging as the ideal means to employing a software-defined approach for the deployment and management of network functions in the cloud. NFV is allowing cloud service providers and large enterprises to bring more automation to the network and deploy new services to the market with greater speed.
“About two years ago we really saw the shift in what was happening in the marketplace and that was more around cybersecurity,” said Blisard. “Companies are now really looking at not insourcing and hiring, but actually outsourcing these capabilities and doing it with a portfolio of different organizations to try to fend off cybersecurity, and to that extent, just this year alone people coming on to our security platform has gone up 30% -- and that 30% really was captured over the last six months.”
The company has achieved a number of milestones in recent months, including an approval to list their common shares for trading, commencing as of the opening of market on November 24, 2015, on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE). The achievement marks the company's progression in their mission to raise funds as part of their internal and product roadmap, but also for acquisitions within the field. “We felt that by going on to the exchange give the story that we're telling today and what we've done already and where we're going, this is a very exciting place to be investing money as investors,” said Blisard. “I like the idea of being out on the exchange and showing the investment community where we're going and what we're doing.” Furthermore, the company opened the doors to its new worldwide headquarters in Colorado’s Denver Tech Center.
With over a decade of experience under their belt and a newly launched innovation, VirturalArmor is positioned to usher in the new standard for cybersecurity. “What I can tell you is that any customer that you talk to that is using Virtual Armor stays with us forever,” said Blisard. “They stay with us forever because we’re that good at what we do. We’re going to focus on that path to continue to grow our customer base, and continue to go up the food chain to larger and larger companies.”
For more information about VirturalArmor, visit www.virtualarmor.com.
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