Incubator to fund, support cybersecurity startups

The Institute for Cyber Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio is lending funding and assistance to fledgling vendors focusing on cybersecurity and privacy issues.

Fledgling security vendors with new technologies aiming to address privacy and cybersecurity problems could receive assistance from a new incubator program being established by the Institute for Cyber Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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The Institute for Cyber Security, which was founded in 2007, hosts a research organization focused on Internet security issues and the ICS Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS), which researches ways the country can safeguard its critical infrastructure. The institute was created in 2007 with a $3.5 million grant from the state of Texas. In June, it received a five-year $7.5 million grant from the Department of Defense Multi University Research Initiative (MURI).

The institute also announced this week that it funded two vendors as part of its new incubator program. Two San Antonio startups, Denim Labs and SafeMashups Inc., are the first companies entering the incubator.

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Denim Labs is a a spin-off from Denim Group LLP. It focuses on custom software development and application security. It is developing new technology to provide non-intrusive real time detection of attacks on PHP-based websites.

SafeMashups focuses on providing a level of security to companies trying to put together multiple applications as part of business operations. Mash ups are a Web 2.0 phenomenon in which data is pulled together from several different sources to provide information on a specific topic or business need at a glance.

Under the new incubator program, the two firms will receive access to researchers based at the institute, seed capital, intellectual property protection, help with initial business issues and office and administrative support. To become a part of the program, participants must agree to significant collaboration with the institute's staff.

The institute is run by security researcher Ravi Sandhu, who focuses his research on identity management, access control and role management issues. The incubator will be managed by Ravi Ganesan, who ran security operations for Verizon, was CTO of CheckFree Corp., and founded authentication startup TriCipher Inc.

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