IronPort CEO Scott Weiss said he expects the company to reach profitability by mid-2005, focusing on the high-end market. With average sales into the millions of dollars, IronPort says it has more than 1,000 enterprise customers, including six of the worlds 10 largest ISPs, as clients. "Once you establish yourself with the very top companies, you hold a great deal of sway in the security marketplace," Weiss said. Forresters Penn said IronPort will likely use the funding to expand its reach into international markets, where it has a stronger hold than competitors, and also to grow its technology.While Penn said he expects many of the e-mail security vendors to be acquired by larger security players, IronPorts Weiss ultimately has his sights set on an initial public offering. "Were not just scraping by," Weiss said. "When we go public, well be somewhere between a Salesforce.com and Google." Lofty goals in a market that not long ago was estimated to have as many as 300 vendors, offering everything from software, services andlike IronPortappliances. IronPort designs appliances that sit between the firewall and messaging applications, and use reputation management, Symantec and Brightmail security, and content filtering to combat spam, viruses, DOS (denial of service) attacks and even e-mail scams. Like most companies in the space, IronPort has expanded well beyond simple spam security, and last month introduced "virus outbreak filters" (PDF file) into its products. The filters draw on the companys own private e-mail monitoring network, Senderbase.org, which tracks e-mail from more than 28,000 organizations to detect abnormalities within networks. This allows IronPort to get a jump on possible viruses and to predict outbreaks, quarantining suspicious messages until security firms release virus definitions to handle the problem. "Were like the CDC [Centers for Disease Control] for the network," Weiss said. "We cover our corporate customers during a time when a signature isnt available." New Enterprise Associates, a venture firm in Menlo Park, Calif., invested $18 million in IronPort, leading the companys fourth round of funding. IronPort has received more than $90 million of capital since its founding in 2000. Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.
"There are plenty of opportunities out there that IronPort is not yet poised to address," Penn said. "Theyll likely acquire technologies to gain some advantages and expand their offerings."