Indian security startup offers free software

The company hopes to make money by selling services to small companies

Wep Solutions, an Indian security software and services startup, is offering its unified threat management appliance software free to small businesses around the world.

Taking a cue from India’s large outsourcers, the company plans to make money from selling low-cost services to businesses that download the software from its Web site, said K. Purushottam, joint CEO of Wep.

The company had offered the technology and a managed security service to small and medium-size Indian companies, but it realized that for adoption to take off beyond a few hundred customers, it had to offer the software free worldwide, Purushottam said.

“Our focus now shifts to offering the services to those users who want support as an option,” he said.

The UTM (unified threat management) offering, called Ubiq-Freedom, is available under an open-source license, and includes popular open-source software such as Squid caching proxy for the Web and IP tables for the firewall, said Debasheesh Bagchi [CQ], Wep’s program head for Ubiq-Freedom.

The UTM is offered with an online management console, designed by Wep, that small businesses can use to configure the UTM. The management console will be enhanced with the help of online communities, and subsequently offered as open-source software, Purushottam said.

Purushottam hopes users will be swayed by the pricing for Wep's services. A 10-incident remote support pack for one year costs 9,995 Indian rupees (US$219).

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