10 Things You Didn’t Know About Gil Shwed

One of the earliest innovators in cybersecurity and the pioneer of the modern Firewall, Gil Shwed is a respected figure in the technology world. While most people know of his position as the CEO and founder of Check Point Software Technologies, there is so much more to this tech luminary. Here are ten intriguing things you may not know about Gil Shwed.

1. He Started Programming at an Early Age

Gil Shwed showed immense potential in the tech world from an unbelievably young age. He started programming when he was a teenager, displaying an early aptitude for the intricacies and challenges of technology. It was only a mere preface to the influential career he would later establish.

Shwed’s interest in programming during his teenage years was not just an occasional indulgence. He dedicated much of his time to it, nurturing his burgeoning interest in the digital domain. This early exposure to programming certainly laid the foundation for his future achievements.

2. His Military Service Was Fundamental to his Career

Serving in the Intelligence Corps of the Israel Defense Forces is recognized as one of the critical points in Shwed’s career. During this time, he encountered real-world situations that required critical analytical and technical skills, shaping his thinking and approach to digital technology, especially in the cybersecurity sector.

Significantly, during his military service, he also formed friendships with Shlomo Kramer and Marius Nacht, his future co-founders in establishing Check Point Software Technologies. Their camaraderie during this period resulted in one of the most potent alliances in the history of the cybersecurity industry.

3. He Coined the Term ‘VPN’

Referred to as the ‘Godfather of VPN’, Shwed was instrumental in developing the concept of virtual private networks (VPN). In fact, he is often credited with coining the term ‘VPN’, demonstrating his influence in the evolution of secure digital connections in the cyber realm.

Shwed’s patent for VPN technology has been a game-changer in the digital world, especially in corporate settings. It provides a secure tunnel for remote users to access internet services, ensuring their privacy against prying eyes and potential hacks.

4. Worked as a Software Developer Prior to Founding Check Point

Before he embarked on creating Check Point, Shwed gained essential experience in the tech industry as a software developer at Optrotech (today Orbotech), an Israeli high-tech company providing precision inspection and measurement solutions.

There, he honed his software development skills, a key expertise that later formed the underpinning of his involvement in innovating cybersecurity technologies. This experience served as practical preparation for carving his own path in the digital realm.

5. He Founded Check Point in 1993

Arguably the most significant milestone in his career, Shwed founded Check Point Software Technologies in 1993, along with his partners Shlomo Kramer and Marius Nacht. Their vision for the company was to revolutionize internet security, which was a growing concern amid the rapid digital expansion during the era.

Today, Check Point is a global leader in IT security, offering intelligent threat prevention for organizations of all sizes. It’s notably known for the development of FireWall-1, the first commercially available firewall product, marking a remarkable transformation in Internet security infrastructure.

6. He Has Been CEO of Check Point since Inception

Proving his exceptional leadership abilities, Shwed has served as CEO of Check Point since its establishment. Over the past decades, he has led the company to become a trailblazer in the world of cybersecurity.

Under Shwed’s guidance, Check Point has consistently played a pivotal role in anticipating, identifying, and responding to numerous cyber threats, thus ensuring the digital security of countless organizations. His tremendous success as a CEO reflects his ability to navigate an ever-evolving industry landscape successfully.

7. A Recipient of Multiple Prestigious Awards

Recognising his significant contributions to the cyber security sector, Shwed has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards. In 2002, he was awarded the Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award for his innovative contributions to business and technology.

His noteworthy recognition continued as he was bestowed with the 2018 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in Israel. These accolades demonstrate his impactful influence and contribution to technology and cybersecurity throughout his career.

8. He is a Proponent of Education

Beyond his achievements in the realm of technology, Shwed is also a firm believer in the power of education. He donated 10 million dollars to fund the establishment of a new computer science department at the Tel Aviv University. The Shwed Family’s Alma Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center highlights his commitment to nurturing the next generation of tech innovators.

Moreover, in an effort to foster a stronger tech industry, Shwed is an active proponent of promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in Israel. His initiatives reiterate his zeal to contribute towards knowledge and educational advancement.

9. A Privacy Advocate

As a forward thinker in the realm of cyber security, Shwed is a staunch advocate for digital privacy. He believes in the crucial need for individuals to control their own data and is vocal about the negative implications associated with non-consensual data sharing.

Through his work at Check Point, Shwed continues to promote and enhance digital privacy, reinforcing the necessity of secure Internet usage in today’s interconnected world.

10. He Maintains a Discrete Personal Life

Despite being a well-known figure, Shwed has managed to keep his personal life private. He rarely makes public appearances or gives interviews, keeping his life outside of Check Point under wraps.

Notwithstanding his discreet lifestyle, Shwed’s remarkable achievements continue to inspire numerous tech enthusiasts globally, solidifying his status as a true pioneer and a cybersecurity titan.

For more insights about Gil Shwed and Check Point Software Technologies, make sure to check out these resources:

Check Point – Our Story
Gil Shwed – Wikipedia
Entrepreneur Wiki – Gil Shwed