: Interview With Jerry Ungerman"> EWEEK: What are you working on for upcoming releases? Ungerman: We are redefining firewall technology in almost every announcement. For example, SmartDefense was a major step forward that includes technology to help people fight different attacks like Nimda and Code Red in real time. No other firewall/VPN technology had done that before. Youre going to see other announcements like that.We have the basis in there now, but this is going to be really expanded. It will be more robust for use across a larger number of partners and suppliers. It will be much more automated and more secure. It will allow you to make changes. When you make a change, everybody has to be notified. Were going to automate a lot of that stuff. It will be much easier to do, rather than make phone calls and send e-mail messages. It will be a very sophisticated product. EWEEK: Which vertical markets are the hottest for you right now? Ungerman: Financial services and insurance are the two largest. But were in all business and manufacturing sectors; some are larger than others. Anybody who uses the Internet needs to use our technology. EWEEK: You recently introduced a product for VOIP. How big do you see the market for VOIP security? Ungerman: The market for VOIP security will be big if VOIP is big, but thats unknown. I think its a few years late right now. It hasnt become what a lot of people expected it would be. EWEEK: Does Check Point have an acquisition strategy? Ungerman: We continually look and evaluate. We have a lot of cash in excess of a billion dollars. So were always being approached as well as looking at possible acquisitions of technologies or companies EWEEK: You had a very high growth rate for a while, and then it plateaued. Do you see returning to a high growth rate again? Ungerman: Yeah, once the economy improves. This is a macroeconomic issue and an IT spending issue. The market and opportunity for our products will have a high growth rate in the future, but we have to get through the current economic environment.
Well add a lot more management capability. Were going to make management capabilities a reality for extranets, for example. When you let in partners and suppliers, its a very difficult and challenging environment because youre trying to tie together multiple untrusted networks. Weve brought out the initial capability in Provider-1, and we are going to expand that to allow them to manage an extranet environment from a single console and turn all these untrusted networks into a trusted connection between everybody.