Interview with Zenedge’s Leon Kuperman

Finally, after many years of silence, Los Angeles is back on the map with one of its very own Nex-Gen Cyber Security start-ups called Zenedge. Zenedge deserves a big hand of applause for making LA their home base. Silicon Valley has its FireEye, Palo Alto Networks, Instart Logic, Fastly, Bromium, and so on. LA now has its Zenedge. We sat down with the CTO and Co-founder Leon Kuperman, and just drilled him with a ton of questions on their offering.

Back in October 29th, we profiled them, but now that they have decided to make LA their home base, we’ll be camping down there more often. Being around a passionate, driven and successful entrepreneurial team is a fantastic experience, because they bring you into their world, and get you pumped up, as though you were going to make millions when this thing takes off. Here is our first Q&A with Leon.

Q: What is Zenedge and what do you do?

A: We are an enterprise security platform as a service. We provide a shield that protects a customer’s origin and infrastructure from several types of attacks. Focused on web application security, we handle malicious attacks designed to breach a customer’s perimeter, and gain access to sensitive data. We also handle complex DDoS attacks that aim to drain application resources to the point where an application is no longer available. We can handle anything from lower level Layer 3 and 4 attacks to layer 7 application attacks.

 Q: Who are your target customers?

A: Our customers are any enterprises that have mission critical apps on the Internet including ecommerce, financial institutions, insurance, health care, advertising, as well as niche verticals like gaming that are often under high stress from DDoS attacks.

 Q: Who do you see as your primary competitors?

A: We see ourselves as complimentary to a lot of security solutions that exist today. We believe that a company should maintain their original security infrastructure. A lot of next generation firewalls, like Palo Alto’s, are fantastic products, but we believe there needs to be another layer of defense that sits outside the perimeter, closer to the edge of the network, an offering we call the Zenshield. The Zenshield is complimentary to, for example, Akamai’s solutions, as it works behind Akamai, but in front of the perimeter.

Q: It looks like you have a lot of features, many features that CDNs don’t have. Would you like to emphasize any unique features?

A: A lot of the features we’ve built particularly emphasize granular control. We don’t build products for SMB and we don’t create a simplified interface for that reason. We’d like to give our customers very granular access to our feature set and that allows them to tune application delivery experience to something that fits their requirements, which you don’t often get for an out of the box product.  I don’t like to say CDN because we don’t focus on commodity CDN delivery (video, etc.). We focus on true application delivery from a web application security, DDoS, and performance perspective.

On December 1st, we’re releasing our Zen Tags™ feature, which is currently being used by a live client, IFLScience. They have a huge Facebook following, from which they link to a Magento store, driving tens of thousands of users to the same page instantaneously. And that page is full of dynamic content like one’s shopping cart information, for example. This type of dynamic and personalized content is not suitable for CDN caching, but Zen Tags™ allows the company to serve an unlimited volume of visitors to all areas of the website, while simultaneously maintaining personalized content.

Q: What are your plans for Zenedge? Do you have a 3-5 year goal?

A: Our goal is really to build a great company and solve security problems for our customers, so they feel safe behind our protection and can focus on growing their business instead of worrying about security. We have financial goals, but no financial exit plan in mind. The goal is to bring on great clients and a great staff made up of the best and smartest minds in the industry, particularly within the geographies Zenedge is located in. We want to surprise our clients with constant and ongoing top tier service. Any client should feel like they can call me in the case of an emergency, we want that type of open relationship with all of our clients.

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