In Security, There’s No Second Chance

Now, more than ever, you need good sense on how to protect your company’s data and networked communications. Luckily, there is good advice out there. Unluckily, if past performance is any indication, you won’t be getting much of it from government agencies, the media, or the high-paid pundits at prestigious consulting firms. You’re going to have to shop around.

For instance, the newly created Institute for Applied Network Security (IANS) in Waltham, Mass., is an “honest broker” between CIOs, executives, and network security professionals. The first IANS Forum ( took place recently on “Intrusion Detection.” Companies from six industries and suppliers of cutting-edge security software took part. Rebecca Bace, an internationally respected 12-year veteran of the National Security Agency, led the forum. The second IANS forum will be in Chicago on Dec. 5th and 6th.

If walking a show floor isn’t your cup of tea, call one of five other security companies who actually do their jobs.

@Stake ( in Cambridge, Mass., offers a collection of thoughtful, experienced experts, including CTO Daniel Geer, Chief Scientist Peiter Mudge Zatko, and Director of Research Chris Wysopal, plus several of the original members of the LOpht Heavy Industries, the legendary and highly lauded hacking/ computer security group.

Neohapsis (, in the Bucktown area of Chicago, has gathered a collection of security experts from diverse backgrounds in the worlds of network and security consulting. Its staff is headed by Greg Shipley and includes the “hacker” known as Rain Forest Puppy, respected as one of the foremost computer software experts in the nation. Neohapsis consistently tests technology so as to better evaluate and implement security for its client; they know what works, and what doesn’t.

Riptech (, in Annapolis, Md., provides 24/7 managed security. But it also gathers a large amount of detailed data on problems that systems may be facing. That data is transformed into usable information, trends and analysis, to help clients understand their security challenges.

CEO Amit Yoran was designing security architecture for the Pentagon and consulting with national and international law enforcement when he started the company in his basement.

En Garde Systems ( is a grand old eminence in security, having started eight years ago. It is headed by Michael Neuman, a computer security specialist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, along with his wife, Diane Neuman, a programmer who can write code in 11 languages and was recognized by the National Security Agency for her studies in Artificial Life Security.

En Garde offers on-site and off-site network testing, as well as secure network architecture evaluations, custom security software and classes.

TrustWave (, also in Annapolis, has a deep executive team with big-time credentials, including former National Security Agency director Lt. Gen. Ken Minihan. President Joe Patanella also spent 18 years at NSA.

Others at TrustWave worked for the Secret Service as well as the Department of Justice. The company also has a commitment to resolving privacy problems and legal issues associated but often ignored in the pursuit of computer security.

You do have a choice. But what it really boils down to is a choice of whether your company will live the American Dream, or get lost in a nightmare. It’s up to you.