Websense CEO unveils a brand-new company

Gene Hodges explains the reasoning behind the new logo change, the DLP market and unveils corporate goals for 2009

With last year's acquisition of Port Authority, a data loss prevention (DLP) vendor and SurfControl, a Web and e-mail security company, Websense has since evolved from being known as a Web solution company to establishing itself as one that also provides DLP and e-mail security solutions.

Gene Hodges, CEO at Websense, unveiled a new company logo to reflect how Websense has turned into a "brand new" company, offering more than just one type of solution. Hodges says, "Our logo is all about being able to say 'yes' to a more wide open usage scenario for end-users while they attain even better security."

The company also unveiled its new Websense Web Security Gateway solution, which is a software solution that Hodges says will allow users to leverage Web 2.0 technologies safely and securely.

Itbusiness.ca had the chance to speak with Hodges and also with Fiaaz Walji, country manager for Websense in Canada, to discuss the significance behind the new company logo, trends in the DLP space, as well as plans and goals for the fiscal 2009 year.

Tell me about your career background. I know you joined Websense in early 2006 and you were at McAfee before that. What led to your move over to Websense?

Gene Hodges: I was the president of McAfee for five years and was in the business unit before that for three years. Before that I was at a start-up business that was focused on mobile data communications. The threat drives our market and at the point that I left McAfee, it was fairly clear that the threat was shifting. It was a shift away from attacks on infrastructures to a move to an attack on information. The second major shift was where the attack came from. That shift was moving towards Web-based attacks which are different from viruses. Websense had a set of what I considered to be very innovative technologies.

What would you say were one or two of Websense's biggest accomplishments this year and why?

G.H.: At a corporate level, we saw an improvement in earnings per share (EPS) with margin improvement. We were up 70 per cent over EPS over the same time last year in 2007 and that was accomplished through the successful integration of Surf Control and working with the channel to preserve the SurfControl install base and really bringing that over to the new Websense product base globally.

Fiaaz Walji: We've gone from a one-product to a multi product portfolio and it helps us become a true security company. For the channel, it means more of an extended footprint. I think from a channel perspective, it's really about helping the partner grow their business.

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