Summary:

FireEye wants to go public in its quest to sell boxes that find threats firewalls can’t. That way at least investors can make money off the company, which to date is unprofitable.

FireEye, an IT security vendor, has submitted an S-1 filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, kicking off the process to raise as much as $175 million through a public offering.

The filing came Friday, getting lost in the news cycle amid lots of security-related news cropping up from the DEF CON and Black Hat events.

FireEye, founded in 2004 and based in Milpitas, Calif., makes software and hardware for spotting security threats in real time on the internet, email and file systems. The company’s Web Malware Protection System — boxes that can supplement firewalls in a network — is a popular product. Anonymized information on new threats that FireEye hardware detects gets sent up to the company’s cloud, so other systems can stay up to date.

Customers include D-Wave Systems, NetApp, Sallie Mae, University of California, Berkeley, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

In the filing the company reported $83.3 million in revenue and a $35.8 million net loss last year. Companies that use firewalls, intrusion protection systems and other products might not want to pay for what FireEye is selling, as the company points out among its risks.

The timing of the IPO filing seems ideal. Reports of cyberattacks and security vulnerabilities keep coming, and money for security companies has been flowing. Two weeks ago, Cisco said it was pay $2.7 billion for Sourcefire. That was great news for investors in publicly traded Sourcefire, which logged $223 million in revenue in 2012. Now FireEye’s investors, including Jafco Ventures, Juniper Networks,, Norwest Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital, could have a nice payday as well.

Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock user Balefire.

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