Well, here we are folks. These are the best of the best innovators that we have seen over the past year. Every year we spend a bit of time discussing how we select Hall of Fame recipients. It’s really pretty simple: survive a number of years as an innovator and you’re in. Well, it’s not quite that easy, actually. First you need to be selected as an innovator. That is not an easy call. We watch all of the products that come through the labs over the course of the year. That is the starting point. We include group reviews, First Looks and Emerging products.

We look first for innovation in the product. Then we look at how the company is run and how it takes its product to market. We especially like to see Davids fighting and beating Goliaths. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t interested in older, established companies. There are plenty out there that are innovating, and when we find one, we treat them exactly the same as the little guys. However, for whatever reason, we are far more likely to see the smaller, newer innovators. They get our attention because there often is an “Oh, wow!!” moment with the little guys than there is with the big, established ones.

Once you become an innovator for the first time, you’re on our radar. We watch you over the course of the year. Occasionally, we become aware of an innovator that never has been reviewed by us. We look them over closely and invited them if they measure up. We are looking for staying power in either case, though. Whether we find you or you find us from the first year on we care about your continued innovation. This often is product-related, but markets can get tough and we are interested in how you do as that evolves. We like it when the VCs decide you’re worth investing in and when the market decides that it wants to buy to products.

Then comes your second year. If you’ve been performing well – group reviews are good (not necessarily fives across the board or Best Buy/Recommended ratings, but that doesn’t hurt, of course) we set you up for an interview to find out what you’ve done over the past year. The bar is raised a bit since we don’t like innovators to sit on their laurels. This process continues until you reach Hall of Fame status.

That’s all that there is to it and, so, we proudly welcome SiQuest and Tempered Networks, this year’s Hall of Famers. 

SiQuest IXTK

Company Name

SiQuest Corporation

Flagship Product in this Category:

Internet Examiner Toolkit

Flagship Product cost

$1,495

Web

https:// www.siquest.com

Innovation

Fully integrated digital forensic tool kit in a single application.

Greatest Strength

A very small company that has mastered the tricks of the trade to excel as David in a marketplace of Goliaths through vision, development skill, understanding of user needs and flawless execution

Last year we described this innovator as: “…a Swiss Army Knife of cyber forensic tools. It is designed from the ground up to perform a complete digital forensic investigation. It looks at the computer, mobile devices, the Internet, social media sites, the works. Not only is IXTK (Internet Examiner Toolkit) complete as any we’ve seen the company takes the position that new forensic examiners might not be fully comfortable with a new tool beyond the tool set on which they learned.” That says it well so we’ll simply revert to that definition. We use IXTK in the Labs and we find it to be amazingly versatile.

This, really, is a company that shouldn’t have continued to exist. It is way too small to go head-to-head against the giants of the digital forensics industry. And yet through a deep understanding of what the digital investigator needs, superior development capability and a lock on stealth marketing techniques this innovator has earned Hall of Fame status through product excellence, customer support and very personalized marketing and sales.

Innovation doesn’t end with recognition here, of course, over the next year this company’s roadmap includes, retooling the core engine to make it faster, tweaking interface to make it even more user friendly than it already is which will include a dynamic UI. Version 7 will see cloud services integration including direct mail access, iCloud, 1Drive, etc. There will be eDiscovery platform built into the product as well as workflow questions to guide the investigator obviating the need to search for everything (fishing expedition). This is a direct response to a trend where courts want to see a directed investigative process. Input of IoCs will be available enabling threat hunts or as we have referred to them, “Forensic Threat Hunting.” This feature integration will be a first in the industry as far as we know.

We won’t be seeing SiQuest next year as the company moves out of the innovators group and up to the Hall of Fame. Of course, you still will see them in the group reviews and, likely, in the First Looks as they continue to innovate with new tools and techniques. So, we heartily welcome SiQuest and IXTK to the Innovators Hall of Fame, Class of 2017! 

Tempered Networks Identity-Defined Networking

Company Name

Tempered Networks

Flagship Product in this Category:

Identity-Defined Networking

Flagship Product cost

The IDN solution is based on a flexible pay as you grow monthly subscription that is portable. A sample basic configuration that includes licensing for The Conductor, 5 HIPclients, 1 HIPserver, 1 HIPrelay, and 1 HIPswitch is $255 per month.

Web

https:// www.temperednetworks.com

Innovation

No doubt about it – this Hall of Famer took the open source HIP and turned it into what may become the most important security innovation since encryption itself became mainstream in cyberspace.

Greatest Strength

Superb foresight, creativity, technical know-how and the skills to execute in the marketplace with an entirely new concept.

Identity-Defined Networking (IDN) is a technology that adds identity to the network and endpoints and performs central management of these identities dynamically. An IDN is an encrypted overlay network similar in many regards to TOR or blockchain DNS in concept but certainly not in practice. In practice what this means is that, without disrupting your enterprise you can add an additional network to it – an overlay network – that neither depends upon nor responds to segregation using VLANs, VPNs, MPLS, and addressing schemes.

The key behind IDN is that every device on the identity-defined network has a cryptographic entity associated with it. You can think of it as address but that is not totally accurate since an address implies a place – either physical, virtual or both – and there is no place association in an IDN. That means that connections are, essentially, peer-to-peer and dependent only upon knowing the cryptographic identity, how to get to it and cryptographic key. Communication is via a special protocol called Host Identity Protocol (HIP). For communication to occur there must be a successful cryptographic exchange prior to data transfer. Which brings us to the big innovation from this new Hall of Famer over the past year: the identity based router.

The identity based router is, essentially, a HIP relay. It can connect any routable or non-routable device to another device anywhere based upon the unique cryptographic identity of the destination device. It uses private addresses and the HIP relay to create a p2p network. This is the beginning of allowing users to create their own private Internet since all of the handshaking and crypto exchange occurs before transport is established.

This Hall of Famer’s goal is to continue to simplify the deployment of this technology. Tempered Networks believes that IDN should be baked into every operating system. To accomplish this goal the company will continue to make operation and maintenance of IDN “super easy.” We believe this is very achievable given the company’s success so far and we plan to add an instance in the lab for further research and experimentation. We welcome this fine innovator to the Innovators Hall of Fame, Class of 2017!