Eric Lu, Chairman and CEO of Lionic, took the time to sit for an interview with Aviva Zacks of Safety Detective. She asked him about Pico-UTM and how his company sees the future of cybersecurity.
Safety Detective: What was your journey to cybersecurity and what do you love about it?
Eric Lu: I spent much of my time in my career in semiconductor areas, such as several chip design houses. Before setting up Lionic, I also worked for a security appliance company. Seventeen years ago, we observed three things in the security market:
First, there were increasing devices connected to the internet but no security protection. At that time, I named those devices “Non-PC” around twelve years ago, but now people call it IoT.
Second, doing network packet inspection for security will consume huge CPU computing power compared to OSI-layer 2 or 3 lookup. It is roughly 900 times CPU consumption and it results in a dramatic performance drop.
Third, the security issue is getting complicated, and security technologies are wide and deep. Normally, internet users care about security matters but don’t care how to make it. Therefore, in brief, the security business should be a continuous service.
The security market is huge and challenging and we are determined to take the challenge.
SD: What is Lionic’s flagship product?
EL: Previously, Lionic’s business model was licensing our technologies to strategic partners—Cisco, Calix Cambium, and Japan’s NEC—so strategic partners’ embedded Lionic’s solutions are our flagship products.
Currently, we are developing our own Pico-UTM as our flagship product. It is a bridge-mode 2 ports switch, security filter box—like a water pipe filter. This Pico-UTM is a small box, UTM grade security, truly plug & play, without changing the user’s network topology. We deploy the markets of SMB, SOHO, HOME, and also expand to industrial IoT machine.
SD: What verticals use your product?
EL: Networking and telecommunication verticals are both interested in our licenses. For example, Lionic licenses security modules into the systems of Cisco, which is a system integrator company. Another example is NEC, which uses our SDK and databases for its SMB routers. In addition, Lionic also launched a single security box which is Pico-UTM. We approach telecom channels directly to address home users and also partner up with networking brand name companies to reach consumers.
SD: What is the worst cyberthreat today?
EL: Ransomware is still the worst cyberthreat, and there are two security issues on the rise rapidly.
- Home security for IoT devices (Botnet).
- The second is the industrial IoT machine.
SD: How will COVID-19 change the face of cybersecurity for the future?
EL: We see two opportunities. One is that working from home is becoming normal, so home security demand for IoT will be triggered.
The second is that Industry 4.0 will operate with robots and fewer workers. Manufacturing machines, power plants, water supply systems—all of these will be running 24 hours a day and non-PC industrial IoT will need to be protected.
Lionic is ready with a solution for home IoT security—Pico-UTM—and we also have an industrial IoT protection project with our strategic partner.