Every year, MIT Technology Review publishes its list of the 50 smartest companies. This year, two information security companies made the list, along with big time players like Amazon, SpaceX, etc. TR doesn’t publish the detailed selection criteria, but they include things like: ability to dominate the chosen market and innovative use of technology. The two security companies on the list are pretty much unknown in the general US marketplace, but according to TR, are not likely to stay that way.
#11 on the TR list is Face++ (faceplusplus.com), a business that has gone beyond startup in facial recognition. The company is based in China where its technology is imbedded in many online services. Other companies such as LTU (www.ltutech.com) have pioneered in image recognition. Face++ has concentrated on facial recognition. Its $1B valuation may well be supported by the Chinese market alone. It’s not clear whether this technology will be popular in the US, where many people may not want their facial images stored in a database. Despite the fact that we are already all on Facebook.
#35 is ForAllSecure (forallsecure.com), a start-up out of Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. Their mission is securing code through machine analysis techniques. Can their technology, known as Mayhem, work? They did win last summer’s DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge. Is there a market? Definitely. Code security now is a hodge podge of static analysis, dynamic analysis, dependency checks, pen testing, etc. But time is of the essence, as agile/devops pipelines turn out new deployments at an accelerated rate. A proven and reliable machine technique for finding and remediating bugs would revolutionize information security.