HK security firm stamps global footprint

After five years of hard work, Hong Kong's Network Box Corp., a network security specialist, decided to move its headquarters out of Star House and into a high-tech center resembling something from a science fiction film. The new center takes up an entire floor of the Metro Loft complex in Kwai Chung and was expensive to build, noted Michael Gazeley, the managing director of Network Box.

"Suffice it to say, our state-of-the-art HQ was not cheap. We are protecting many of the world's best known organizations, as well as government departments, so we wanted to do everything right," he added. Network Box is also currently working with a consultant, to ensure our state-of-the-art security operations center, meets all relevant ISO security standards," he said. The company is seeking to be certified for ISO 27001, the updated version of the BS 17799 security standard.

'State-of-the-art' may sound normal but here it is almost an understatement. The biggest problem was making the floor as secure as possible while obeying Hong Kong fire regulations at the same time. Gazeley spent months on the design and implementation and what his team has produced looks rather like Mission Control in Houston. This bold visual statement of intent is rare among Hong Kong companies. But then, Gazeley and his company are not typical.


Towards the end of the last century, Gazeley and his head of IT, Mark Webb-Johnson, were sitting in a coffee shop in the early hours wondering how to protect their customers from various attacks originating over the Internet. At that time they sold IT services and products to local companies. After looking at what was out there, they came to the conclusion that most of the offerings being sold did not do enough. The solutions were so complex that most customers did not understand what was going on. Nor should they have to, they thought.

Out of this, the Network Box was born. It was certainly one of the first 'all-in-one' systems available anywhere. Today, that kind of solution is known as unified threat management (UTM). Gazeley is proud in his belief that they were the pioneers of this type of technology offering.