Recent arrests in the world’s largest reported case of identity theft highlight vulnerabilities in adopted corporate network security practices. According to industry analysts, the wireless intrusion prevention market will reach nearly $200 million in total global revenues in 2009. Today, we focus on a company that offers solutions for wireless threat management, AirPatrol Corporation.
Founded by Brad Rotter, AirPatrol traces its origins to a company called Cirond. Rotter acquired AirPatrol’s assets and the original team from Cirond in February 2006 on the theory that wireless was one of the fastest-growing industries and security was the biggest concern in the market.
Based in Columbia, MD, the company offers solutions that allow IT departments to provide policy-based protected connectivity so that they meet their information assurance and regulatory compliance requirements, even when the laptops are not at the enterprise, a time when they are at their vulnerable best. Their Wireless Locator System (WLS), allows security administrators to manage both 802.11 WLAN device and cellular device security with a single system. The system detects, locates, and characterizes 802.11 WLAN and cellular devices within security administrators’ areas of interest on a 24×7 basis, including cellular broadband devices and smart phones. The system also includes a wide of automated alert functions to notify security administrators when wireless security events occur.
The company follows a per-seat pricing model. For each laptop or netbook that is managed, there is a per-seat cost. On the infrastructure side, there are two parts: there is a per-sensor fee. The information that is homed back to the management server, by the sensor, represents the second part of the infrastructure security management solution. The company offers volume discounts available for both.
AirPatrol has an indirect business model; they work primarily through channel partners and have two-tier distribution. The top verticals industries for AirPatrol are the federal government, defense, and intelligence. Further, the company is also expanding into civilian agencies in both Canada and the US, as well as the enterprise market and vertical industries such as financial services, corrections, and healthcare. Ozzie Diaz, the company’s president and CEO, believes that wherever there is a high degree of regulation such as in financial services or healthcare, there is a need for both infrastructure and end-point security management solutions.
The company’s competitors on the infrastructure security management side are traditional wireless intrusion detection systems (IDS) vendors such as Aruba, Cisco, AirDefense and AirTight. AirPatrol feels that though these companies are focused on the WiFi IDS market space, they not innovating with cell phones, the fastest-growing wireless threat, giving AirPatrol a competitive advantage.
AirPatrol sells directly to several marquee customers with established references, and began to get traction early in 2008 in the US defense and intelligence community. This community is the company’s earliest reference customer from a non-public perspective, but they speak with their peer organizations throughout North America and NATO defense and intelligence agencies worldwide to serve as operating reference installations.
AirPatrol is growing, and earlier this year its pipeline in the US federal government space expanded to other territories as as Southeast Asia and Western Europe. They launched the AirPatrol Channel Partner Program earlier this year, which is designed to help value-added resellers grow their existing and new customer base with the industry’s first cellular and wireless intrusion detection system for location-based security.
The company has raised funding through a seed round and Series A funding. However, they did not disclose the amount raised. AirPatrol is not profitable yet, but anticipates rapid growth and penetration into the market especially throughout its indirect channels worldwide. Further, they have activities in the pipeline for direct marquee customers in 2010 and foresee eight- to tenfold growth in revenue.
This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2009