Celebrating 6 years of GARL (and counting…)

I still could not believe 6 years have been passed since that day, August 27th 2008, when  GARL was born. And still could not believe what I have accomplished so far.

At the beginning it was just myself working for Symantec as a penetration tester, but 04XdataXprotectionnothing really happened until mid 2010, when I did a vulnerability assessment for a premier Radio/TV station in Europe. With a single password guessed in a Web Mail, I was able escalate privileges and penetrate into the TV stream, the radio stream, the TeleText and the global “intelligent” power management. It was time for a change and in an hotel room the idea of SecurePass was born.

At the same time, another thing was clear to me: IT will become more and more a commodity and there’s high risk that IT will become no different than retail chains. Either you work for big companies like Google or Facebook, or you work as a small company on behalf of bigger chains. I had to face a choice: the “easy path” of working for bigger companies or the “hard way” of becoming a vendor myself. Guess what, I chose the latter.

It took more than one year of development and one year of secret testing, but in 2012 SecurePass was commercially available. I always said that GARL won’t be a big company such as Google or Facebook, but I could not expect what happened.

We recently opened a new office in the Zurich area, along our Lugano and London offices, with plans for more locations.

We’re constantly getting new customers and we think that’s the right momentum: US products are a concern for security and people start realizing how cloud is important for their business.

Zurich Office
GARL’s Zurich Office

Companies whose main business is not IT sees software exactly like other means to reach their goal: IT is no different than a power bill or building facilities. I have a strong belief that everyone deserve security to protect their business and GARL should help bringing affordable security to every company.

To help these companies, GARL is creating a portfolio of services that goes beyond  SecurePass: Bank of Passwords, Remote Audit Pro (former EasyAudit), SecureData and SecureBox are just an example. We are seeking to increase this list also with help of strategic partnership such as SSD’s CrossTime, that was massively in the news and is a great example on how SaaS is a great place for SecurePass and GARL.

We have two distributors and we’re hiring more partners. Big vendors starts to appreciate SecurePass, as a matter of facts it was included in CapGemini’s cloud offering. We also started our talks with Barracuda Networks to have a joint offer to the marked. IBM is already our partner and the IBM Tivoli Labs have developed a SecurePass plugin for WebSphere portal to build effective intranets for the financial market, and we’re into talks to include SecurePass into BlueMix.

investLast but not least, SecurePass’ module will be included in the next releases of Debian and Ubuntu. Also beta version of the module is available for CentOS/RHEL. This is a great news for those deploying new web services running on the best Linux platforms.

For most people, especially “startuppers”, success is having big media attention and selling their companies for millions. A lot of companies, even from friends of mine, have been closed or are going to close due to the economic crisis. Surviving the crisis, staying on the market and getting slowly but constantly new customers is a personal success.