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Hacked Off

Andrew McLennan finally got tired of being ripped off, so he started a security company.

Well, it didn't happen just like that, but McLennan's experience as a video game developer did eventually lead to his founding of Metaforic Ltd., a maker of anti-tamper software. During his time at Steel Monkeys, a Belarus-based game developer, McLennan saw the company's products hacked, cracked and available for illicit sale literally before Steel Monkeys had released them to market.

"We had stuff available in Russia before it was available in the U.K.," McLennan says in a robust Scottish brogue.

So, with funding from the Scottish government, McLennan founded Glasgow, Scotland-based Metaforic, which launched in the United States in late October. McLennan, the company's CEO, says that MetaFortress, the company's flagship product, can "stop any hack in its tracks."

But there's more to MetaFortress than just the fact that it prevents hacking, piracy, theft and reverse engineering, McLennan says. Not only does MetaFortress do all of those things, but it does them in a way that's easy to deploy and doesn't significantly affect application performance.

Instead of requiring eight weeks to six months, as some apps do, MetaFortress adds protection to an application in an hour by automating the process of adding protection, McLennan says.

Beyond that, McLennan adds, while most anti-tamper tools reduce the performance of the applications they protect by anywhere from 5 percent to 20 percent, MetaFortress clocks in at a 0.2 percent performance downgrade. And, he says, while competitors protect an application for anywhere from a week to a month, Metaforic's product offers three to 18 months of protection.

Metaforic is targeting the enterprise with its product, selling not only to ISVs but also to companies that do internal application development or want to protect critical elements of their infrastructures.

About the Author

Lee Pender is the executive features editor of Redmond magazine. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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