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WatchGuard Technologies, Inc.
IndustryNetwork security and computer security
Founded1996; 26 years ago (1996)
Key people
Prakash Panjwani (CEO)
ProductsUnified Threat Management (UTM) devices, next-generation firewalls, secure WiFi devices, cloud-based threat intelligence, device detection
Number of employees

WatchGuard, formally known as WatchGuard Technologies, Inc is a Seattle, Washington-based network security vendor. Its products are designed to protect computer networks from outside threats such as malware and ransomware.[2]

The company was founded in 1996.


WatchGuard was founded in 1996 as Seattle Software Labs, Inc.[3] Its first product was a network firewall called the WatchGuard Security Management System,[4] which included the WatchGuard Firebox "firewall in a box" security appliance, along with configuration and administration software.[5]

In 1997, the company changed its name to WatchGuard Technologies, Inc.[3]

In July 1999, the company went public on NASDAQ.[6]

In October 2006, the company was acquired for $151 million by private equity firms Francisco Partners and Vector Capital, and Bruce Coleman was brought on as interim CEO.[7]

In August, 2007, Joe Wang became the company's permanent CEO, replacing Coleman.[8][7]

In May 2014, CEO Wang stepped down and was replaced by interim CEO Michael Kohlsdorf, an operating partner with Francisco Partners.[9]

In April 2015, Kohlsdorf was succeeded as CEO by Prakash Panjwani.[10] It was announced that both Panjwani and Kohlsdorf were joining WatchGuard's board.[11]

In June 2016, the company acquired HawkEye G threat-detection and response technology from Hexis Cyber Solutions, now Sensage, part of KEYW Holding Corp.[10] In October, the company launched the WatchGuard Wi-Fi Cloud, to extend its network security to Wi-Fi networks.[12]

In August 2017, WatchGuard acquired Datablink, a provider of multi-factor authentication software used to secure laptops, servers and other devices.[13]

In January 2018, the company acquired Percipient Networks, a domain name system service provider.[14]

In July 2018, the company announced an application called AuthPoint, designed to provide multi-factor authentication security for businesses.[15]

In March 2020, WatchGuard announced an agreement to acquire Madrid-based Panda Security, a provider of network endpoint security.[16] The deal was completed in June.[17]


The company develops security products and services for businesses.[18] There are four product groups: Network Security, Endpoint Security, Secure Wi-Fi and Multi-Factor Authentication.

The Network Security devices are categorized as Unified Threat Management (UTM), whereby a single device provides multiple security features. The devices include WatchGuard Dimension, a network discovery tool that allows administrators to identify devices on the network, including mobile devices; and WatchGuard cloud, giving the devices access to online threat intelligence.[19][20]

The Endpoint Security offering includes products and services that provide advanced endpoint security, endpoint antivirus, security operations, and DNS level protection and content filtering.[17]

The Secure Wi-Fi product line consists of secure indoor and outdoor Wave 1 and Wave 2 802.11ac Wi-Fi hardware, security subscription services and WatchGuard's Wi-Fi Cloud, a management platform used to control the devices.[18][12]

The Multi-Factor Authentication group includes the company's AuthPoint application, a multi-factor authentication management and reporting tool which prevents unauthorized users from accessing sensitive cloud applications, VPNs and networks.[15]

The company also issues a quarterly security report based on feed data from WatchGuard UTM appliances installed at customer sites. The report highlights the type and frequency of malicious attacks occurring on computer networks.[21]


  1. ^ "Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Threat Management, SMB Firewalls: Visionaries". 2017-06-23. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  2. ^ "Cyberattack scramble: sifting through code, a midnight patch and a lost weekend". 2017-05-16. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  3. ^ a b "Company Overview of WatchGuard Technologies, Inc". Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  4. ^ "About to buy a firewall? Read this first". 1997-08-04. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  5. ^ "Firewalls get watchdog". 1997-02-03. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  6. ^ "WATCHGUARD TECHNOLOGIES INC (WGRD) IPO". Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  7. ^ a b "Watchguard Names CEO". 2007-04-24. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  8. ^ "Company Overview of WatchGuard Technologies, Inc". 2013-08-01. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  9. ^ "Watchguard CEO Joe Wang resigns; Michael Kohlsdorf named interim replacement". 2014-05-13. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  10. ^ a b "WatchGuard Technologies buys threat-detection software for $3M plus stock". 2016-06-15. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  11. ^ "WatchGuard names Panjwani as CEO". 2015-05-18. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  12. ^ a b "WatchGuard Technologies Looks To Take On Cisco Meraki With New Wi-Fi Cloud Solution". 2016-10-18. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  13. ^ "WatchGuard buys Datablink for authentication". 2018-08-09. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  14. ^ "WatchGuard Buys Percipient Networks To Fortify Its Malware Protection Capabilities For SMBs". 2018-01-17. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  15. ^ a b "WatchGuard Introduces Multifactor Authentication Product". 2018-01-17. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  16. ^ "Seattle-based WatchGuard to acquire endpoint protection provider Panda Security". GeekWire. 2020-03-09. Retrieved 2020-03-10.
  17. ^ a b "WatchGuard Completes Panda Acquisition". Infosecurity Magazine. June 2, 2020. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  18. ^ a b "WatchGuard Technologies CEO: We're On The Hunt For Acquisitions". 2017-07-20. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  19. ^ "2017 Mobility 100: 30 Coolest Mobile Security And Device Management Vendors". 2017-05-08. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
  20. ^ "Product Information: WatchGuard T30-W and WatchGuard Dimension". 2016-05-02. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  21. ^ "WatchGuard Report Shows Rapid Growth of Attack Techniques, Malware". 2017-12-12. Retrieved 2018-07-31.

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