So here we are at the end of another year. We have had a bumper crop of Innovators and now we must say hail and farewell to three of our favorites. “Hail” as we welcome them to the Hall of Fame and “farewell” as they pass from our annual Innovators issue. To get to the Hall of Fame an Innovator must have been on our radar for some time and in the year-end Innovators issue for three years. That shows us that the innovation is not a flash in the pan and the Innovator is not a one-trick pony.

These are the folks everyone else competes with in one way or another.

Our long-term Innovators are market-shapers. Much of what they have done has created the de facto standards that have dictated what similar products do. These are the folks everyone else competes with in one way or another. And, as often as not, they are the tail that wags the dog because many of them are very small companies that have developed a great idea, partnered up with some heavy technical hitters or serial entrepreneurs and started a company to exploit their innovative technology.

Interestingly, when we talked to several of these small almost start-ups we found that there was no shortage of funding to get them going. In a time when we are just emerging from some pretty rough economic times there does seem to be plenty of venture capital for the right ideas. We may, indeed, be returning to a time when a great idea spawned in an entrepreneur’s basement has, as they say, legs. We certainly hope so.

The 20 Innovators that preceded our Hall of Fame section all are potential Hall of Famers going forward. They all have the right stuff. It remains to be seen if they have the staying power. The three inductees this year certainly have both. It is not unusual for a Hall of Famer, or an Innovator that was due to be inducted, to be acquired. We had one of those this year. We hope that there will be more because one of the things that makes a serial entrepreneur tick is the opportunity to cash out and then go out and do the whole thing again. We had a few of those this year, too.

So, with all of that said, here are your three 2015 Innovators Hall of Fame inductees. Congratulations all. We – and the industry – couldn’t be prouder of you!

Vendor Intigua  

Flagship product Intigua Management Controller 

Cost Starts at an annual subscription price of $48K. 

Innovation Containerization of the complete management stack in a virtual environment. 

Greatest strength Ability to manage a hybrid/virtual environment that includes legacy, cloud and internally-developed management tools seamlessly and effectively.

Intigua

Intigua applies containerization techniques to encapsulate management and security tools in the enterprise, simplifying server management. The Intigua Management Controller uses proprietary, cross-platform container technology as well as smart policies and orchestration. The combination of these technologies creates a virtualization envelope for management tools, enabling them to be centrally managed and automated. We recognized this as game-changing technology a couple of years ago when we evaluated the Intigua product for a different review. We were sufficiently impressed that we nominated the company for the Innovators issue and now, in its third year here, Intigua goes to the Hall of Fame.

Of course we wanted to know what new things have happened to this Innovator over the past year and what’s in store for them going forward. Intigua is finding that its customers are using the Intigua tools for managing true hybrid environments. The company’s offering provides a framework for encapsulating security and management tools all automatically. This Innovator has demonstrated 73 percent time savings due to automation and encapsulation. The Intigua approach is not limited to a small set of commercially available tools, either. It can be applied to just about any management or security tool, including home grown tools, open source, SaaS, hardware, clouds, and so on.

Typical management framework makes individual policy development and delivery cumbersome. This is what the Intigua tools fix. Because centralized management administrators do not need to apply management and security tasks for each individual device and don’t need to login to each device individually, there can be a significant savings in time and human resources. One interesting finding by the company over the past year is that organizations that are retooling to go to the cloud are slowing down their migration. However, to Intigua, the cloud is just another dimension to manage.

A major objective for this Innovator is the support of IT operations analytics (ITOA) in organizations. However, to be successful in ITOA you must have the right management framework in place. Movement in the marketplace is toward hybrid environments and that, of course, is Intigua’s primary strength. That’s good news for them because as the industry advances it is becoming mainstream time for the cloud.

Vendor Modulo  

Flagship product Modulo Risk Manager 

Cost Starting base price is $18,750 annually, SaaS. 

Innovation Evolving the concept of digital risk to be an overarching risk management concept and then making the tools to address it beyond simple IT risk. 

Greatest strength Forward-seeing and the ability to think beyond simple digital GRC to the overall concept of risk management regardless of the environment.

Modulo

These are exciting times for risk management company Modulo. Its focus is technology risk and the company believes strongly that the digital world is becoming more and more the core of everyday business. Modulo has crafted its product to focus on risk because the company feels that addressing GRC as a whole is a big thing to get one’s arms around. The objective, then, is to give organizations a simple way of managing technology risk.

As the company continues to evolve and innovate, its current emphasis is on third-party risk. This is an area in which it continues to innovate and it now has begun to aggregate other risk with vendor risk. Of course, third-party risk stepped into the spotlight with the Target breach. If the victim had applied the tools of third-party risk management, it is conceivable that the unsecure practices of the particular problem vendor would have been caught. If vendors don’t manage their own risk, it affects their customers’ supply chain.

The company also has begun to see customer demand for including vulnerability management in the broader framework of technology risk. Another area of innovation for Modulo is IoT risk. This follows the company’s philosophy because technology risk is not just IT risk alone, there is a strong component of product risk as well. One needs to know where the vulnerabilities in a product in the field are… looking just at IT risk is not enough. Analyzing risk in the Internet of Things focuses on the “things” as much as the information technology surrounding them. Modulo has broadened the area of IT risk, then, to the overarching concept of “digital risk.”

Looking at risk through the lens of digital risk brings all computing technology risk into focus. Whether it’s IoT, vendor, vulnerability management of traditional IT risk, Modulo addresses it. This makes the company a sort of one-stop shop for technology – or digital – risk management. Constantly on the prowl for underserved, but important, areas of the digital world that have risk management requirements is what the company does well and its continued innovation – helping organizations manage digital risk creatively and effectively – is what has landed them in this year’s Hall of Fame.

Vendor HyTrust  

Flagship product HyTrust CloudControl and HyTrust DataControl 

Cost HyTrust CloudControl: Enterprise pricing starts at $82,500 for a single data center site with 50 ESXi CPU sockets. A free version of the product is also offered that supports up to three hosts. HyTrust DataControl: Subscription-based pricing per virtual machine. Varies based on number of VMs and term. List pricing, based on options selected, starts at $600/VM/year.

Innovation Virtual cloud-based datacenter security. 

Greatest strength Evolving to meet the rapidly changing virtual landscape and supporting a wide array of laws and regulatory requirements.

HyTrust

HyTrust is one of those companies that has taken something that should be obvious – but isn’t – and should be difficult for administrators – but isn’t – and packaged it up so that when an organization’s “ah-ha” moment comes, applying HyTrust protection is, essentially, a no-brainer.

What do we mean by that? First, the not-so-obvious/obvious thing is that in a virtual environment one needs to protect both the hypervisor and the virtual machines – not just the VMs. Second, deploying the HyTrust tools is a pretty straightforward task. Seems as if we’ve answered the important questions and can move on. But as HyTrust points out on its website, there must be more to it than that. Not really. One of the things that has drawn us to this Innovator is that it has addressed all of the “big rocks” quite completely.

The HyTrust system consists of a couple of components: the Cloud Control piece and the Data Control piece. Taken together these two applications secure both the virtual environment and the data on it. That ah-ha moment usually comes when an organization discovers that in today’s threatscape nothing is steady-state. The bad guys always are evolving and, as our world becomes increasingly virtual, we need solutions to the problems engendered by the virtual environment that evolve as well.

Then there is the regulatory driver. Organizations need to be able to move from anything, anywhere at any time and do all of that within a regulatory framework. Unfortunately, there still is a community of practice that believes that compliance equals security. There are lots of hard-learned lessons that put the lie to that notion. So, do you chose to be in compliance or to be secure? It turns out that you can have both. Start with being secure. Then, with proper documentation, you’ll find that you also are in compliance. It doesn’t work the other way, though.

So, one of the HyTrust goals is to secure the virtual world and provide everything needed to establish compliance. Today, though, virtualization doesn’t stop at an organization’s virtual door-step. There are clouds – AWS and Azure, for example – to consider. HyTrust has that covered as well.

Finally, with the demise of Safe Harbor, we need new tools to let us know when we are moving data in violation of a country’s laws. HyTrust addresses that with sophisticated geolocation that allows users to set rules for where data may be decrypted safely and in compliance with laws and regulatory requirements.