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The Six Most Promising Security Startups of 2008

Judges unveil six finalists in the annual Global Security Challenge

Looking for the latest hot technologies in security? So are the judges of the annual Global Security Challenge, a contest designed to help seek out and identify the most promising startups in the industry.

Yesterday, the GSC judges announced the six finalists for the award, which will be announced on Nov. 13. The winner will get a $500,000 grant in cash and mentorship from venture capitalists, courtesy of the Technical Support Working Group of the U.S. government.

Some of these technologies seem more useful to a the Green Berets or the CIA than to the average enterprise. However, there are some emerging IT technologies in the list as well. Take a gander at this year's finalists -- and start thinking about your entry for 2009.

  • 1. Beyond Encryption

    This Irish company has built and deployed an enforcement tool for remote information security. It enables an organization to take an offensive approach and pursue any device and its data, putting either or both beyond the use of the current user. It is the first precision information protection weapon with pinpoint accuracy for targeting and protecting sensitive information on any device regardless of location.

  • 2. Brain Fingerprinting Laboratories

    Based in Seattle, this startup has developed a "brain fingerprinting" technology. This humane, non-invasive, and accurate scientific technology detects concealed information in the brain that can be used for interrogations of criminal suspects (yes, really). It can also detect Alzheimer's disease and measure advertising effectiveness.

  • 3. Hiperware

    This Singapore upstart has developed a real-time decision-making software that leverages cluster computing power for analyzing enterprise processes to actively identify errors and monitor process effectiveness.

  • 4. Intuview

    Based in Israel, this startup has developed a multi-engine “artificial intuition” software for real-time categorization, summarization, and intelligence extraction from large batches of documents in Arabic, relating to the domain of Islam and terrorism with the goal of creating a capability to interpret the hermeneutics of radical Islamic and terrorist related texts without the need to have well versed Arabic literate analysts on hand.

  • 5. Precision Sensors Instrumentation

    This Armenian company invented a single-layer, flat-coil-oscillator absolute-position sensor that enables users to do more accurate prediction of earthquakes and detection of armed activity in zero visibility settings.

  • 6. TRX Systems

    A spinoff from the University of Maryland, this emerging company has achieved a technological breakthrough for tracking first responders both outdoors and within complex structures. The TRX system is self-contained and requires no pre-existing infrastructure and can even create virtual floor maps in real time.

    Last year's winner was NoblePeak Vision, which developed a breakthrough technology for night video surveillance.

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  • Beyond Encryption
  • Brain Fingerprinting Laboratories
  • Hiperware
  • Intuview
  • TRX Systems
  • Recommended Reading:
    Editors' Choice
    Kirsten Powell, Senior Manager for Security & Risk Management at Adobe
    Joshua Goldfarb, Director of Product Management at F5