Special mention

This is a surprising and special category. The selection this year came to our attention through pure serendipity. However, I really hope that we have started something here going forward.

When we look for innovative mavericks, we need a venue and this category - Special mention - fills the bill nicely. Here I have broken my own rule a bit. A company that we put here may only be innovative in one of our two aspects: technology or go-to-market. Of course, it would be alright with all of us if our maverick did both very well, but it is not necessarily required.

In this year's case, our selection has taken a solid, billion dollar-plus business and reinvented itself while protecting its core market. That takes some clever planning and it certainly satisfies anyone's criteria for innovation. We'll discuss this, do a bit of analysis and send them forward with our best wishes and close scrutiny for next year. We hope that we have a pleasant surprise for you next year.

It is our intent to supplement our single entry this year with several next year. However, at the recent SC World Congress, we saw some pretty innovative companies and products in our first Security Innovators Throwdown, a contest for young technology companies (we'll discuss the winners in a future issue). Meanwhile, I think that you will be pleasantly surprised at what's going on as we recover from a couple of pretty bad economic years.

The evolution of innovation is unpredictable, but it seems to continue in some form almost no matter what else is going on in the world. It may take a brief hiatus from time to time, but our information increasingly needs to be protected and it is up to us as security professionals to see to that duty.

As we look for new techniques and tools each year, companies such as the ones that we have highlighted this month will provide them for us. I've heard - and I agree - that a couple of years is an eternity in the IT security business. And that - exactly that - is the challenge that these companies and companies just like them are facing daily.

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