Hundreds of government agencies and major corporations are able to detect computer hacking as it happens – and identify the hacker much faster – thanks to technology at Alpharetta, Ga.-based Lancope that was invented by Georgia Tech professor and GRA Eminent Scholar John Copeland. The technology, StealthWatch, is now the most widely used solution for “network behavior analysis” and has received wide acclaim in the computer security industry, having captured multiple awards since its release in 2001.
Cyber crime and cyber terrorism are growing threats. Each month, the FBI alone receives 25,000 reports of cyber crime incidents, and individuals and groups around the world are increasingly using the Internet for fraud and extortion. Lancope protects computer networks at the State of Georgia, Chick-fil-A, AirTran Airways, The Weather Channel and more than 320 other organizations. Other customers are federal agencies including the National Security Agency and the Department of Defense – both of which worked with Lancope to develop another product that graphically depicts hackers and intruders to computer networks as attacks occur.
Lancope’s StealthWatch was invented by John Copeland, GRA’s first Eminent Scholar, who also founded the company. Dr. Copeland says he “almost certainly” would have left Georgia from his position at Hayes Microcomputing had Georgia Tech and GRA not recruited him as an eminent scholar and the second director of GCATT, the Georgia Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technology.
Dr. Copeland was the first to detect a major denial-of-service attack targeting Apple computers in December 1999. While monitoring Internet traffic on his personal computer one day, he discovered that his computer was being used as a cyber weapon, sending huge amounts of data to Web addresses chosen by the hacker. He tracked some attack sources to computers in the Mideast and elsewhere, and the intrusion into his computer spurred him to begin developing software to detect, analyze and trace “anomalous” network behavior.
Lancope is one of the most successful companies to launch out of a Georgia university. Headquartered in Atlanta, the company employs 60 people.