The most innovative tech products, services

CSO readers sent in their nominations for what they felt changed the tech industry.

0 innovation


Like in sports, it is hard to compare the impact of one player to the next covering different eras. The same can be said for technology products and services. Despite that, here are what some products that readers felt were innovative. If you have others that should be included, feel free to email

1 netwitness


It was the first really workable, enterprise-strength, full packet capture system you could buy. It, like all good security tech, allowed itself to be adapted for a host of use cases that Netwitness never imagined.

2 metasploit


An open source framework that allows for the development and execution of exploit code (so not a commercial vulnerability scanner!). The ripple effect of this framework has significantly increased our ability to POC and demonstrate exploits to internal teams and vendors driving much faster remediation efforts.

3 virustotal


A free service that analyzes files, hashes, and links against virus definitions from dozens of anti-virus and threat intel sources. It allows for some great intelligence, but we can also watch attackers modify their code and test it against VirusTotal to determine if it’s detectable anymore.

Phone-based two-factor authentication

Phone-based two-factor authentication

As CSO’s Tony Bradley noted: Modern two-factor authentication solutions that leverage a user’s mobile phone as a second factor as opposed to separate legacy hardware tokens reduce both the cost and complexity of two-factor authentication.

The Firewall:

The Firewall

This was the first tool that actually did what it said it would do and gave you a fighting chance to secure your stuff. DEC SEAL was the first one with all the components we'd call a firewall today.

6 mspatchtuesday

Microsoft Patch Tuesday

Catalyzed the change in enterprises to operationalize patch updates in Windows. Made enterprises see patching as part of IT Operations and not ad hoc "emergency: processes done rarely.”