eEye Ship Not 'Sinking,' CEO Says

eEye Ship Not 'Sinking,' CEO Says
eEye Ship Not 'Sinking,' CEO Says 

By Kelly Jackson Higgins
Senior Editor
Dark Reading
December 17, 2007

eEye Digital Security has had plenty of upheaval this year, with the 
sudden departure of CEO Ross Brown in April, a round of layoffs and 
departures of sales and technical staff, and most recently, the quiet 
exodus of co-founder and CTO Marc Maiffret. (See eEye's Two Releases [1] 
and Maiffret Says Bye to eEye. [2])

But in an interview earlier today with Dark Reading, eEye CEO Kamal 
Arafeh said there's nothing to the most recent speculation that Maiffret 
has jumped a sinking ship. Talk of problems at eEye resurfaced last week 
after Maiffret disclosed that he had left the company back in September, 
and soon will launch a new non-security startup.

Arafeh says eEye's revenue has actually increased 53 percent over the 
same period last year, and that it has diversified its customer base 
beyond the government agencies and large corporations it first targeted 
with its Retina vulnerability scanner.

"We've restructured, and we have a more agile process on the engineering 
side, and roll out more products on [better] timeframes, and we have 
more people testing products to make sure they are up to snuff," says 
Arafeh, the former senior vice president of worldwide sales and 
marketing who took over the reins after Brown left the privately held 

Arafeh accepts much of the blame for the slowdown this year on the 
research side of eEye. He says he had to first get up to speed in 
understanding just how research could play with the company's products.

"I had to grow professionally to understand that from our customers' 
perspective," he says. "We are re-emphasizing it... There's more of an 
emphasis on research today than there was six months ago." Look for 
eEye's vulnerability research to go more hand in hand with its products, 
he says.

He says there are still some familiar faces from the company's original 
research team on board, including Andre Protas, who was recently named 
director of research and preview services for eEye. Arafeh was unable to 
divulge any information on the number of employees or the research team, 

But some security experts argue that eEye has not been in the spotlight 
much over the past year in public vulnerability research like it was the 
year before, or in its earlier days.

Why the delayed announcement of Maiffret's departure? Arafeh says there 
was no single reason. "It was a combination of him being worried that 
people would make assumptions similar to what's coming out now [and 
other factors]," he says. "[People] blew it out of proportion."

Maiffret said in an interview last week that he held off on spreading 
the word about his departure until the transition was complete.

Meanwhile, Arafeh says eEye's main source of revenue continues to be its 
vulnerability assessment tool, Retina, which represents about 60 percent 
of its business, and that the company is working on expanding into the 
small- to medium-sized business market here as well. Next for eEye, he 
says, are more form factors for its products and technologies, including 
new services. The company also will roll out solutions in '08 that 
reduce the amount of time it takes to deploy its VA and Blink endpoint 
products, Arafeh hinted.

Arafeh also revealed that in the next few weeks, the company will be 
moving from its home in Aliso Viejo, Calif., to a new headquarters space 
on the campus of the University of California-Irvine, where companies 
such as Cisco and Google also have a presence.


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