ODS Networks Inc claims it is not in any financial difficulty and can afford to turn in a loss for the next two years before it has to start worrying. The network equipment manufacturer claims to have $40m in the bank and says the losses it has turned in recently are not significant and hopes […]
ODS Networks Inc claims it is not in any financial difficulty and can afford to turn in a loss for the next two years before it has to start worrying. The network equipment manufacturer claims to have $40m in the bank and says the losses it has turned in recently are not significant and hopes the release of a new network switching product will aid its recovery. The Richardson, Texas company has launched the SecureSwitch, a dynamic response tool designed to deal with network attacks. The switch contains the company’s Protocop network detection tool, designed to detect, track and catch system attacks from hackers, be they internal or external. The company which reported a nine month net loss of $1.5m in October (CI No 3,272) is targeting its new product offering at large organizations and financial establishments, basically any operation that has a network containing valuable data. Customers are urged to place the SecureSwitches at each point on the network that deals with a heavy flow of traffic. If an attack on the network does occur, the switch can track where entry was gained, where the attack came from and track it back to the originator. ODS is not suggesting its switch should be used as an alternative to security measures such as firewalls, but as an addition to them. ODS’s channel manager in the UK, Laurence Martin describes this process as active policing of the network. According to Martin and systems engineer colleague Nick Burke, ODS is the only company to have a product such as SecureSwitch. Both Martin and Burke are of the opinion that external hackers are not really a major problem in the scale of network fraud, because 75% of all electronic fraud committed via a network, is committed by the internal staff within a company. But what worries Martin is that criminals are increasingly looking to the internet and companies businesses as a way of stealing. He said: It is not that hackers are becoming criminals, but criminals are becoming hackers. But as a company built mainly of engineers, ODS has a low profile and is not widely recognized within the industry. Established in 1983, the company that used to be called Optical Data Systems, employs 310 staff at 17 offices across the world. It has decided that the only way it will be able to sell its offering is via partners with higher profiles. It has recently signed an agreement with NCR Corp to market SecureSwitch on a global basis, and in the UK ODS Networks Plc has struck an agreement with Honeywell. The company is currently working on a growth plan that it hopes will guide it towards profitability and wide scale recognition. SecureSwitch has a list price of $30,000.