'Yoggie Will Change Security, Just Like the iPod Changed Music'

"Just as the iPod changed the music world, Yoggie's product will change the security world," says Shlomo Touboul, founder and former CEO of the information security company Finjan Software. Now Touboul is now forging ahead with a new startup, Yoggie Security Systems, whose goal is to bring the world a new concept in security for portable computers.

About four months ago, Touboul revealed he was founding Yoggie, after leaving Finjan. The press reported that Yoggie had raised $1.8 million from private investors in New York, the American investment house, Early Bird Capital, private investors from Silicon Valley, led by Silicon Ventures and a group of private investors from Israel. At that time, Touboul would not reveal any details concerning the company and its products. Now, for the first time, he is doing just that.

Yoggie's product is designed to solve security problems in portable computers that hook up to the Internet via wireless "hotspots" or other means that are often less protected than organizational computers. Another problem with portable computers is the need to install a large number of different types of security software programs on each computer.

The Yoggie Gatekeeper is a hardware device that hooks up to portable computers and includes 13 different software programs: firewall, VPN, anti-virus, IDS and IPS systems (for detecting intrusion attempts), a proxy system, anti-spyware, anti-Phishing, anti-spam and a security engine.

For the most part, Yoggie's security appliance is not really a technological innovation (although Touboul has registered patents on some of its protective layers), but makes life much easier for users who are not proficient in the complexities of information security. Users are saved the independent installation of a host of software and all their security needs are met by connecting just one card. Essentially, this appliance provides a single package solution to all sorts of security problems.

The Gatekeeper physically separates the security solutions and positions them on the designated hardware. Some of the software programs included in the Gatekeeper were developed by Yoggie; others were acquired through agreements, such as Kaspersky Anti-Virus.

One of the problems with connecting portable computers to the Internet via hotspots is the lack of security, since the communications protocol via which the connection is made transfers information from many users. For example, a laptop owner using a wireless Internet hookup at a hotel could be sharing that connection with another 400 guests - and is exposed to significant security risk. Yoggie masks the IP connection and conceals the user, preventing external intrusions.

Touboul founded his first company, Shani Computers, in 1985, and sold it to Intel in 1994. He then worked or Intel for a while, before becoming the CEO of Finjan software, which developed and patented anti-virus and anti-spyware software. In 2000 Touboul founded another startup, Telecom Partners Runway and a venture capital fund, Runway Telecom Ventures. In 2001, Touboul returned to Finjan, which was suffering from financial difficulties and had to lay off workers. He left Finjan again a few months ago.

$180 solution

"This product does makes life much easier, but also contains unique technologies," explains Touboul in response to the question of whether Gatekeeper is a technological innovation or a convenience product.

What makes Gatekeeper different is the new way of thinking concerning the security world.

"For 20 years we have been installing anti-virus and other software in a certain way," continues Touboul, "Yoggie offers a new approach."

At present, Yoggie has designed its product for business clients who use laptop computers, but has future plans to market the Gatekeeper to small firms.

"The Gatekeeper can be used to connect four or five computers and then [you can] forget about installing information security software," explains Touboul. "At this point the product is at the Beta stage, with a few primary clients."

Gatekeeper will be launched for the general public in November, and will be available in two versions: basic, priced at $180, and professional, at $220.