ZoneAlarm will hit Singapore next year

Check Point will offer ZoneAlarm products at retail stores and over its local site in the island-state, according to a company executive.

SINGAPORE--Buoyed by the success of its consumer business in Australia, Check Point will be selling its ZoneAlarm security applications through the Web and retail stores in Singapore early next year.

Scott Ferguson, regional vice-president of Check Point Asia-Pacific, told ZDNet Asia that the company is currently in discussion with potential partners to distribute ZoneAlarm products--including its latest ZoneAlarm Security Suite--to Singapore consumers. An e-commerce Web site will also be set up and hosted here, he added.

"We've built a very successful consumer business in Australia since last November," he said. The security company is now eyeing other markets such as Singapore, which share similar characteristics such as the high density of broadband users who are aware of Internet security risks, he added.

Ferguson noted that ZoneAlarm has gone from "nothing to number three", by retail volumes, in the Australian consumer market. "We are also starting to displace Symantec in the Australian marketplace," he said. Check Point has several partners in Australia who package and distribute ZoneAlarm products. Some of these partners are also involved in setting up and maintaining the company's e-commerce back-end, he added.

Check Point however, owns the intellectual property of its e-commerce Web sites, which "we can take and deploy in Singapore", he said.

The company is also working with telcos in Australia to deliver managed security services for desktop PC consumers, and is looking to offer similar services in Singapore.

Like Australia, Ferguson expects the bulk of ZoneAlarm's sales to come from retail stores in Singapore, rather than over the Web.

"Both Australians and Singaporeans like to touch (products) and talk to somebody at a shop," he said, noting that online transactions only make up 20 percent of total sales for ZoneAlarm products in Australia.

Check Point acquired Zone Labs, the maker of ZoneAlarm products, for about US$114 million in cash last March. Zone Labs' end-user security products, which comprise less than 10 percent of Check Point's revenues, have more than 25 million Internet users and over 1,400 enterprise customers worldwide.