Talking to Ericom’s new CEO about Ericom Shield and cloud security

Incoming CEO David Canellos has a background in the cloud/web/SaaS security space, which is indicative of the potential in Ericom Shield.

Ericom Software today announced a new CEO, David Canellos, and I had a chance to jump on the phone with him earlier this week.

We’ve been following Ericom and their desktop virtualization products for years, from all their work on the AccessNow HTML5 client, to Ericom Connect, to their more recent product, Ericom Shield, a secure remote browsing service we looked at in 2017. The idea of using a secure remote browser for SaaS and web app security is gaining more traction, and I’ve been a fan of the concept for a long time.

As it turns out, David comes from the SaaS, cloud, and web app security space. He was the CEO of Perspecsys, which encrypts or tokenizes your data before you put it in up a cloud app; Perspecsys was acquired by Blue Coat, a web gateway and cloud access security broker (CASB); and Blue Coat was then acquired by Symantec. David said he was interested in moving back to a smaller security company. He hadn’t heard of Ericom before the move, but given the opportunities for secure remote browsers in the web and cloud security space, it was a good fit that he was excited about.

There are all sorts of ways customer can use product like Ericom Shield, like keeping sketchy websites from infecting trusted environments, opening sketchy attachments, remote access, securing BYOD and unmanaged endpoints, and adding DLP around SaaS apps. And all of this can be done in conjunction with other security products, like CASBs and various gateways. There are just a lot of opportunities here.

What’s interesting to me is that someone from the security space (i.e. outside of the desktop virtualization space) is excited about remoting pixels. I though, hey, this stuff is getting mainstream! Or to put it another way, it’s telling that Ericom could have recruited a CEO out of Citrix or VMware, but chose to recruit from the security space.

From a tech perspective, I can’t help but think this is all coming at the right time. Ericom Shield has a modern architecture; the individual browser tabs each run in in their own disposable Linux container; and users access them via HTML5 clients. (They use the term Remote Browsing Isolation.) This will make it easier to slide inline with web, SaaS, and cloud security workflows. A more traditional-looking VDI or RDSH offering from 5 years ago would have had a much harder time doing this.

Now, Ericom Connect still makes up the bulk of Ericom’s business, and David said that it’s a good run rate business and growing well. This is something we would have expected to hear, since Ericom Connect is well-suited for cloud deployments and cloud-hosted desktops are going to keep growing. Connect has an active roadmap (for example, they added some identity capabilities in 9.0, released late last year); but David sees some cross-sell and up-sell opportunities in the customer base, too.

So on both sides—Connect and Shield—Ericom is well-positioned. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens this year.

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