A Tacoma tech company now has its name alongside one of the world’s most recognizable brands in computer security.
IID, headquartered in Tacoma, announced this week that two of its products will be integrated into ePolicy Orchestrator, McAfee’s crime-fighting tool for medium and large businesses.
The ePolicy Orchestrator is basically a dashboard that lets businesses plug in all of its different programs that monitor network security and view them all in one place. The dashboard makes it easier for businesses to see what’s going on across their computer networks and to react faster to threats.
“We have a little light on that dashboard now that will glow red,” Lars Harvey, IID’s CEO, said in an interview.
IID was founded in Tacoma in 1996 as Internet Identity. It focuses on cybercrime prevention and counts some of the nation’s largest banks, Cabinet agencies and dozens of private companies as clients.
Last year, the company started moving from frenetic start-up pace to focusing on long-term growth. It hired several new executives and has added about a dozen people to its staff, which now numbers 67. Harvey said the company is moving toward being a “connector and integrator” of information about cybersecurity, and it plans to announce new products this year to back up its focus on “shared intelligence.”
“We want to collect and build as big a firehouse as possible, then filter it into what matters for people,” he said.
The McAfee deal is part of IID’s efforts to broaden its business. It won’t generate direct revenue for IID, Harvey said, but it gives the company access to sales leads.
McAfee says its dashboard has 45,000 customers.
Many security products focus on activity inside a computer network, such as what happens after an employee opens an email and activates a virus. The IID products McAfee will plug in, Signals and Resolver, focus on threats outside the network to provide an early warning system. For example, the virus could be sitting inside a business network, communicating to an outside server IID knows to be bad. That information allows the business to target the virus before it becomes active.
IID’s products compete with offerings from several, much larger companies. For example, Symantec had $1.7 billion in revenues in the first quarter and has 18,500 employees. Teaming up with McAfee, another big dog in the yard, provides IID with a competitive boost.
The cybersecurity industry is so new and nebulous that its size is hard to quantify. Private-sector spending on cybersecurity alone doubled from $40 billion to $80 billion in the last five years, said Larry Clinton, president and CEO of the Internet Security Alliance, a trade group.
Partnerships like the one between McAfee and IID sometimes can be a precursor to a purchase. Harvey said he’s focused on staying in Tacoma even though hiring top-flight programmers and developers is challenging given the vortex of the Seattle tech industry.
“We’re definitely committed to staying and making it work,” Harvey said. Hiring can be a challenge, he said, but “we’d like to change that. Part of that will be becoming a destination company ourselves.”Kathleen Cooper: 253-597-8546 firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @KCooperTNT