It's all about the data. As we've said many times in the past, there would be no need for security on our networks if we didn't care about protecting the data that sit on them and travel on them. But we do. That means that, in addition to the trouble that we go to to protect our infrastructure, learn about the threatscape and, generally, spend money and time to make certain that our perimeter (such as it is) and our endpoints are well-secured, we also need to focus on the data. That's what this section addresses.

All three of the Innovators in this category take very different approaches from each other.

We have some pretty interesting and, of course, innovative companies in this batch. You likely will notice that the usual anti-malware suspects are missing. We saw next to no innovation from the traditional companies. Just about everything out there is simply old wine in new bottles. We bounce from product to product when the one we have no longer seems to be doing the job, and it's not long before we find out that the new choice is no better. Our Innovator this year is out to change that and we believe that there is a better than even chance of success.

Our other two Innovators are similarly clever. Just because of our pronouncement above, don't think that there is only one Innovator in the anti-malware game. Our other two Innovators are as well, but they take a very different approach. All three, in fact, take very different approaches from each other. Interestingly, when we started combing for data protection products, it all came down to malware.

What we also find interesting is that as we looked at our Innovators in the various topic spaces, we saw what amounts to a significant war of dueling philosophies regarding how to keep data safe. We think that the next few years will sort this battle out and a consistent set of “directions for securing data” will emerge. It's being driven by the bad guys. We follow the underground and the volume of new tools for stealing data on the internet is prodigious. That is quite a challenge – and that is just from the developers. Add in the criminals who use this stuff and the number of adversaries soars.

That all said, it still all comes down to protecting the data. When the perimeter finally disappears what is left? Just the endpoints and the mass storage...and the data. And those – even today – are where the action is.