FireEye to focus on 'US allies' in APAC

U.S. security vendor wants to expand its presence in key Asia-Pacific markets which can offer bigger deals and have emphasis on IT security, but says China is excluded to avoid risks its products will be sold to cybercriminals.

U.S. security vendor FireEye is looking to expand its presence in several developed and developing markets in Asia, but does not intend to conduct business with China to avoid having their products sold to threat actors.

According to Doug Schultz, managing director of FireEye Asia-Pacific, the company plans to invest more in Japan , Australia, South Korea and Singapore , which it considers its four key markets, by dedicating more resources to malware research and increasing sales of its products.

Speaking to ZDNet Asia in an interview here Tuesday, Schultz attributed this focus to seeing "strong success" in these four markets, generating large deals and revenue for FireEye. In addition, the focus on IT security in these markets, in terms of government legislations and enterprise security tools, is also rather strong, he added.

Other Asia-Pacific markets the vendor plans to expand to include Taiwan, Southeast Asian countries, and India, he said. These markets are growing rapidly with local companies developing keen security awareness, which provide opportunities for FireEye to further develop its business, he noted.

No product sales to China
FireEye, however, has no plans to sell its products to China, or enter certain nation-states which harbor risks of cyber warfare and espionage, Schultz noted.

Elaborating, he said its customers in the Asian market the IT security vendor wants to expand to depend on its products and intellectual property (IP) for prevention and defense against malware. These "U.S. allies", he noted, referring to the targeted Asian markets, also want to ensure the products and IP they deploy are protected and "in good hands", and FireEye does not want to risk its products being sold to potential threat actors, he pointed out.

"We want to be very diligent about who we sell our products to," he said.

China-based telecoms equipment makers, Huawei and ZTE, in October came under fire after the US House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee released a report stating these IT vendors posed a security threat to U.S. companies and discouraged U.S. companies and government agencies from doing business with them.

Rise of advanced malware in APAC
Asked what can be expected from Asia-Pacific's security landscape in 2013, Schultz noted there will be an increase in advanced malware--stealthy, hidden, and targeted to specific individuals--which many network systems will not be able to detect. 

Traditional spam and e-mail spear-phishing will continue to account for the bulk of attacks since Asia  leads as spam and phishing origins , he said.

The objectives of the malware will be multi-purpose in nature, Schultz noted. If it targets financial institutions or critical infrastructure sectors such as telecommunciations, it will be for financial gains or disrupting operations, he said. If it targets governments in Asia-Pacific, the intent is to capture intra-government communication information to gain competitive advantage, he noted.

He noted there are dissident-related and territorial-claim conflicts going on across the region, so malware could be released to obtain information before key events, for example, before a U.S. official speaks in Beijing, Schultz explained.


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