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10 IT security companies to watch

Video surveillance, data leakage and application whitelisting among start-ups’ focus areas

By , Network World
November 17, 2008 12:08 AM ET

Network World - Our picks for this year's 10 IT security companies to watch offer products and services that involve everything from video surveillance to application whitelisting to malware blocking, and you can view samples of their products in this slideshow. But if there's a common theme among most of these vendors, as with 2007’s top 10, it's that trusted personal relationships forged in universities, business and the military played an essential role in inspiring their founders and convincing employees to join them. And that's not to mention the millions in seed money not just from venture capitalists but also angel investors, and yes, family.

Behavioral Recognition Systems 

Founded: 2005

Headquarters: Houston

Focus: AISight is video-analytics technology that can convert images captured by a camera into machine-readable output that provides real-time intelligence about the surveillance to generate an alert.

Why it's worth watching: As use of video-monitoring grows, business and government may want to automate surveillance to be warned of unexpected events. AISight can be used with existing video-monitoring systems.

How company got its start: Founder Ray Davis saw a gap in the effectiveness of video surveillance systems and backed a team of scientists working on artificial-intelligence recognitions systems for video.

How company got its name: The BRS artificial-intelligence technology uses adaptive learning to anticipate behavior based on knowledge it accumulates over time.

CEO: Davis is an entrepreneur involved in technology start-ups from the '90's, including SimDesk, CyNet and OnDisk.

Funding: $23 million from undisclosed angel investors.

Who's using the product: None announced but eight pilot tests in progress in energy, financial services, government and a sports stadium.

CoreTrace 

Founded: Officially in 2001, but dormant until 2007

Headquarters: Austin

Focus: Specializes in application whitelisting software; its Bouncer products for the enterprise are designed to prevent unauthorized applications from running on desktops and servers based on Windows, Solaris and in the future, Linux.

Why it's worth watching: As combating malware continues to get tougher due to just its numerical increase, alternates to using just antivirus software are getting attention. Whitelisting -- the method of allowing only stipulated applications to run -- is one approach. However, whitelisting software in general still has a reputation as difficult to manage, something CoreTrace says it tackles with its product.

How company got its start: Co-founders Daniel Teal, CTO, and his brother Richard, vice president of engineering, came up with their basic concept years back, but didn't pursue launching a firm until last year when they teamed up with Toney Jennings, now the CEO, with whom they had worked at Trident Data Systems and the Air Force several years ago.

How company got its name: The Bouncer software operates in the kernel of the operating system, so the goal is to trace any attempt to make changes to the core of the operating system.

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