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Barracuda Labs Introduces Hot Security Topics (HST) Ranking System

Industry's First Computer-Generated Ranking System Identifies 2012 Top Information Security Trends

Campbell, Calif. (March 2, 2012) - Barracuda Labs, the threat intelligence team at Barracuda Networks Inc., today launched the Hot Security Topics (HST) Ranking System, a "BCS-style" computer-generated ranking system for top security industry trends, and outlines 2012 hot topics. HST is available on the company's security research portal at http://www.barracudalabs.com.

The HST Ranking System leverages data from this week's RSA Conference, the largest gathering of information security professionals and companies. The conference features more than 15,000 attendees and 341 exhibiting companies, representing more than 90 percent of the $27 billion information security industry.

"The HST Ranking System provides a view of the industry that was missing and is complementary to the information security market research that IDC performs," said Chris Christiansen, VP security products at IDC. "Information from HST helps to validate market data that IDC provides, and it identifies areas of opportunity where the infosec ecosystem is misaligned."

Popular Topics
Each exhibiting company provides a succinct company description, which Barracuda Labs then used in a content analysis system to identify recurring n-grams. These n-grams identify popular topics; top security topics are identified based on the number of occurrences of each term. The top five topics include network, management, cloud, compliance and risk. Other notables include mobile, trust and Web that ranked 9th, 10th and 12th respectively.

Popular Categories
The broader categories have been identified by mapping each term into one of six security categories, based on IDC's security industry taxonomy1. The categories include Network Security, Vulnerability, Identity, Endpoint, Content Security and Encryption.

Data Visualization
In order to visualize this data, Barracuda Labs created a Web application that generates a heat map of the 2012 RSA exhibition floor based on each security topic and each security market. The heat intensity is based on how much each company focuses on that topic relative to others. The Web application is available at http://hst.barracudalabs.com/ to explore topics and mappings.

"The Hot Security Topics Ranking System provides a means of measuring and better understanding the industry's priorities and how they relate to the community's problems," said Dr. Paul Judge, chief research officer of Barracuda Networks. "The Barracuda Labs team typically uses these types of algorithms - machine learning, data visualization and trend tracking - to track attackers. Now we are excited to use them to offer information back to the security community."

About Barracuda Labs
Barracuda Labs is a global multi-disciplinary research and threat analysis team that fulfills a critical role in developing innovative technologies across Barracuda Networks' business areas. The team evaluates the threat ecosystem and creates security intelligence to defend Barracuda Networks customers. Barracuda Labs' threat research areas, which include email, Web, network and cloud security and technology, are designed to improve the world's security posture by promoting security awareness and education, developing and innovating new defense technologies, and working with government and law enforcement agencies to reduce cybersecurity crime. For more information, please visit www.barracudalabs.com.

Footnotes:
1 - Source: Worldwide IT Security Products Forecast and Vendor Shares: Comprehensive Security Product Review, IDC, Kolodgy et al., December 2011.