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Inside Iowa State
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February 28, 2003

Hacker smacker

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First in a series that looks at how Iowa State helps boost the Iowa economy.

by Debra Gibson
Byte this, software scammers.

For years, associate professor Doug Jacobson has designed computer programs to halt hackers, thanks to funding from the Center for Advanced Technology Development (CATD).

In time, CATD staff encouraged Jacobson to boot up his bottom line by opening a business in ISU's Research Park. Since 1996, Palisade Systems Inc. has created and marketed such computer security products as SmokeDetector, which disguises network servers and detects uninvited guests.

Under the guidance of Jacobson, the company's president, Palisade Systems now also designs computer network management programs.

For example, ScreenDoor blocks access to offensive Web sites. FireBlock both provides necessary security and helps organizations manage network access. PacketHound plays "traffic cop" for a system's Internet downloads, blocking file-sharing (think Napster) and preventing network overload. It received an R&D 100 Award in 2001.

Today, Palisade Systems employs 20 staffers, with plans for 50 percent growth in the next year. Its products are used in every state in the United States and in Canada. Iowa companies using the technology increase their productivity and their bottom lines.

Iowa State is good for business.

... Becoming the Best
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Published by: University Relations,
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