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6 security companies to watch

Tim Greene | Jan. 27, 2012
This group of security companies includes several that want to capitalize on technology ideas that were originally devised to serve communities of special interest but could now take on a wider cybersecurity role.

Given all that, it's worth keeping an eye on CloudFlare to see what it comes up with in its planned enterprise version that was supposed to launch at the end of last quarter, but didn't. Nevertheless, when it does appear, it will be worth a look.

CO3 Systems

Headquarters: Cambridge, Mass. Founded: 2010 Funding: Fairhaven Capital, amount undisclosed Leader: CEO John Bruce Fun fact: The actual founder is shrouded in mystery, partly because he still works for a firm that had a need for the type of service CO3 offers due to repeated breaches, and he doesn't want to bring all that up again publicly. The company name is based on its three goals, all of which start with the letters "C-O": contain, control and comply.

Why we're following it: CO3 fills an ever-increasing need: how to respond quickly to all the legal reporting requirements that come into play after a business suffers a data loss.

The company offers software as a service that generates an action list of what businesses have to do to meet those requirements, drawing on its constantly updated database of what 46 states, three commonwealths and 14 federal agencies demand.

When customers suffer losses, they enter the nature of the breach into the service's Web portal, and the portal produces a list of what agencies need to be notified, how soon and the penalties if the deadlines aren't met. It also details how to contact the pertinent parties and the actual language of legislation and regulations that apply.

The alternative is to manually piece together the same information and map it to a spreadsheet, something that CO3 says is virtually impossible to do while also hitting all the deadlines; there just isn't enough time.

Given the trauma of having to make a public disclosure about a data loss, this service can get organizations quickly on track to do the requisite reporting, meeting their obligations and avoiding fines.

Breaches became commonplace and high-profile in 2011, and they are now viewed more as inevitabilities than they are as something that can be avoided. CO3 offers a service that could help businesses do the right thing in the eyes of the law. It bears watching to see what customers who fall victim and wind up having to use the service have to say about it.

Emerging Threats Pro

Headquarters: Lafayette, Ind. Founded: 2010 Funding: Private Leader: CEO Matt Jonkman, also president of the Open Information Security Foundation (OISF) Fun fact: Suricata, the IDS engine developed via OISF and that underlies Emerging Threats, is funded by the Department of Homeland Security.

Why we're following it: Intrusion detection is a must-have in any layered network defense, and Emerging Threats Pro is weaving its way into the fabric of open source intrusion detection software, with the company's CEO Matt Jonkman as the driving force.


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