Catching Up With Innovation Sandbox Winners: Sourcefire

Posted on by Fahmida Y. Rashid

The Innovation Sandbox Contest turns 10 this April!RSAC Innovation Sandbox

Every year, RSA Conference showcases 10 companies with innovative information security products on the market as part of its Innovation Sandbox Contest. Teams from each company present and demonstrate their product in front a panel of judges and answer questions. This year's winner will be named “Most Innovative Company at RSA Conference 2015.”

To mark the tenth anniversary of the competition, RSA Conference caught up with past winners to see how they are doing and to hear about their Innovation Sandbox experience. First up is Sourcefire, which won in 2005, raised $71 million from their IPO in 2007, and was acquired by Cisco in 2013 for $2.7 billion. The answers below come from Marty Roesch, vice-president and Chief Architect for Cisco's Security Business Group. Roesch was founder and CTO of Sourcefire.

RSA Conference: What was the biggest benefit of winning Innovation Sandbox?

Roesch: We saw a sharp increase in Sourcefire’s visibility in the industry. Back in 2005, we were known primarily for Snort. Real-Time Network Awareness (RNA), which is core to what we now call Cisco FireSIGHT, a technology that provides total visibility into your network, was still fairly new in the market. Wining the Innovation Sandbox at RSA allowed us to demonstrate to the industry that we were not just putting Snort on our hardware boxes. It gave us a platform to demonstrate our commitment to developing new approaches to help customers solve complex problems.

RSA Conference: What was the biggest benefit of participating in the Innovation Sandbox contest?

Roesch: Being among the other companies who were showing different technologies was a great way to learn about some of the new and inventive approaches evolving to tackle the challenges facing the industry.

RSA Conference: What would you say to someone thinking about entering the contest?

Roesch: If you have something innovative, entering the contest is a good idea and a great way to show the industry new approaches to solve tough problems.

RSA Conference: It’s been a few years since your win. Has the experience in the contest, or winning the contest influenced the company’s growth in the years since?

Roesch: Winning the contest elevated our profile in the industry and caused a lot of customers to take a closer look at what we were doing as a company.

Check back later this week to hear from other Innovation Sandbox winners. If your company is doing something innovative in information security, check out the submission guidelines. Hope to see you in April!

Fahmida Y. Rashid

Information Security Journalist, Editor-in-Chief, RSA Conference

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