Noonan: 'Too much confusion' in U.S. security Atlanta Business Chronicle - August 4, 2006by Justin Rubner Technology Tom Noonan, CEO of Atlanta-based Internet Security Systems Inc., is urging the federal government to step up its role in protecting the nation from cyberattacks. Noonan, who spoke to the U.S. Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

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Noonan: 'Too much confusion' in U.S. security

Atlanta Business Chronicle
-

August 4, 2006by Justin Rubner

Technology


Tom Noonan, CEO of Atlanta
-
based Internet Security Systems Inc., is urging the federal
government to step up its role in protecting the na
tion from cyberattacks.


Noonan, who spoke to the U.S. Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
committee July 28, says the government still has not appointed an assistant secretary for
cybersecurity
--

a year after announcing the new position.

He says there ought to be a
national plan to restore connectivity in the event of a large
-
scale cyberattack.


In addition, he says the roles of private
-
public cybersecurity partnerships ought to be
better defined. "There is simply too much confusion," he

told senators, "and, I suspect,
duplication among the myriad of public
-
private entities laboring with the best of
intentions."


He mentioned that network vulnerabilities since 9/11 have grown, despite focused efforts
of the public and private sector. As
for ISS (Nasdaq: ISSX), researchers there report that
June set a record for the most disclosures of new computer vulnerabilities
--

696
--

and
they predict they will find 42 percent more this year compared with last.


Competition amongst friends

Just in
time for his noncompete agreement to end with Cypress Communications Inc.,
Greg McGraw is taking the reins of competitor BroadRiver Communications Corp.


McGraw, who sold Cypress to investment firm Arcapita Inc. for $41.5 million in 2005,
formed communica
tions startup iVidia Solutions earlier this year. However, that startup
is being acquired for an equity stake by BroadRiver. McGraw will become CEO of the
combined company.


BroadRiver flamed out in 2001 after burning through a substantial amount of ventu
re
capital. But the company was later bought out and turned around. Today, BroadRiver is
small, posting about $5 million in yearly revenue. But it is profitable.


BroadRiver is providing all sorts of services to businesses, from Internet communications
to

security. The company's main competitors are Cypress and Atlanta
-
based Cbeyond
Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: CBEY).


McGraw said BroadRiver is about to secure a $750,000 line of credit and is looking to
hire 15 people by year's end. If BroadRiver raises v
enture capital, the company will
expand even more, he said. Over the next month, he said, the company will enter New
York City; Nashville, Tenn., and South Florida.


Nano fund raising $

A nanotech fund with roots in Atlanta is raising up to $1 billion, a
ccording to a recent
Securities and Exchange Commission filing.


Mike Collett, managing director of Chicago
-
based Masters Capital Nanotechnology Fund
L.P., says the firm is watching the progress of nanotechnology at Georgia Tech, and
"hopes to be working
with them in the future." Georgia Tech is building a $90 million
nano center on campus, a move that is expected to bring forth a nanotechnology
manufacturing hub in Atlanta
--

and ultimately more capital into the area.


The five
-
year
-
old company is one of

the few nano
-
centric venture firms in the country,
and sprung out of a hedge fund started here in the mid
-
1990s, Masters Capital
Management. The fund has some big names (and wallets) on its board, including
billionaire financier Wilbur Ross. The fund also

still has its back office work here.


Black Hat brief

Atlanta
-
based Web security firm SPI Dynamics Inc. has discovered a new way hackers
could wreak havoc on users of anything from YouTube to Gmail. The company has
published its results and briefed hack
ing experts at the Black Hat computer security
conference during the week of July 31.


Caleb Sima, co
-
founder and chief technology officer, said he has seen a "dramatic rise" in
"cross
-
site scripting" attacks on Internet sites in recent months, heightened

by the
increasing popularity of social networking sites such as YouTube and MySpace. Cross
-
site scripting is a method in which hackers embed programs into Web sites, which in turn
can take advantage of users' computers. The attacks particularly affect soc
ial sites, Sima
said, because of the high amount of user
-
generated material on them.


Many cross
-
site scripting attacks have been benign, with one MySpace user writing the
"Samy" worm that added more friends to his account to make him appear more popular.

But they've also been malicious, as Yahoo! Web mail users found out in June when the
Yamanner worm burrowed its way into many of their contact lists.



If you have news for Technology, contact Justin Rubner at (404) 249
-
1078; fax, (404)
249
-
1058; or at j
rubner@bizjournals.com.