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Security Startup Goes Solo

Not all startups follow the well-beaten path to the doors of venture capitalists. Take San Antonio, Texas-based Digital Defense Inc., which this week unveiled the latest version of its Frontline vulnerability management service (see Digital Defense Simplifies Risk Management).

Digital Defense has managed to survive without VC funding since 1999, when former U.S. Air Force officer Rick Fleming and one-time Zenith Data Systems exec Joseph Cooper founded the company. Frontline is a subscription-based service that checks users' networks for security weaknesses.

Subscribers can monitor routers, firewalls, email, and Web servers, and can even test VOIP phones and search for wireless devices, according to Cooper.

Digital has made it so far on $4 million from a group of angel investors in San Antonio, plus its own revenue. CEO Cooper says Digital Defense will achieve revenues of $3.5 million this year, with growth of 30 percent to 40 percent expected for 2005.

Digital Defense installs an appliance behind the customer's firewall that assesses networked devices. This information is then sent back to Digital Defense's San Antonio data center, where customers can access it via a secure Web interface.

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