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New CEO Sets Whitelisting Firm's Direction

Former CEO of Corel, Imprivata now leading Bit9's search for more partners and an international presence

Whitelisting firm Bit9 named a new CEO today, former Corel chief operating officer Patrick Morley, who reaffirmed the company's strategy to spread its technology via partnerships with security companies, such the one it signed recently with Kaspersky Lab. (See Blacklisting Meets Whitelisting.)

In an interview with Dark Reading, Morley said he's focused on forging more partnerships, as well as continuing growing its customer base, especially overseas. "Right now our focus is on partnering... We provide something they’re [security vendors] missing in their arsenals," he said. Bit9 in October announced that it had raised another $10 million in venture capital funding, for a total of $25.8 million.

As the new CEO, Morley replaces his friend George Kassabgi, who has returned to his previous employer Atlas Venture as an executive in residence.

Morley says he brings to the table some key connections that can help drive Bit9's growth. "The biggest thing I can bring to the table is I had the opportunity to lead other organizations that have gone through tremendous growth on the top line and on the people side," he says. "And I have relationships with eight of the top ten PC manufacturers in the world."

Morley says his No. 1 focus won't be on going public -- although he has been there three times, including with Corel -- but on driving customer sales and partnerships with other vendors.

Nick Selby, director of the enterprise security practice at The 451 Group, says with the pressure on agent-based endpoint security vendors intensifying, his firm expects more whitelisting and data leakage firms to be acquired next year, and that Morley could have been brought in to help groom Bit9 for acquisition.

Whitelisting is becoming just one of a series of must-have features for anti-malware products, just as host-based intrusion prevention and behavioral analysis, Selby says. "Lumension Security added application whitelisting and device control to its patch management, and we'd expect more in terms of policy enforcement and actual whitelisting from vendors like BigFix, Check Point Software Technologies, Sophos, Trend Micro, McAfee, and Symantec in 2008."

Bit9's Morley has held several executive positions -- prior to Corel, he was formerly CEO of Imprivata; vice president, North America for Macromedia; and vice president, Americas, for Allaire, which was later acquired by Macromedia.

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  • Bit9 Inc.
  • Kaspersky Lab
  • The 451 Group
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