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Five Questions For Martin Roesch, Founder and CTO of SourcefireFive Questions For Martin Roesch, Founder and CTO of Sourcefire

In 1998, Roesch created Snort, an app that sniffs out malicious traffic trying to enter a network. Snort's free source code has been downloaded more than 3 million times.

Larry Greenemeier

June 17, 2006

2 Min Read

Martin Roesch
Founder and CTO of Sourcefire
Interview by Larry Greenemeier

Martin Roesch, Founder and CTO of Sourcefire -- Photograph by David Deal

Photograph by David Deal


Accidental Entrepreneur
Snort was originally a sideline project for Roesch, who developed the software while working as a network security engineer at BBN Technologies. "It was something more worthwhile than going home and playing computer games."


Keep It Simple
Snort isn't the only open source intrusion-detection software, but it's by far the most popular. More than 40 security software companies use it as the foundation for their products. "I always had in my mind to keep it simple so users could get it up and running within five minutes."


Power Source
Open source is an incredibly powerful way to develop software because the startup costs are low. "In a competitive market, open source also makes it easier for you to gain mindshare."


Adapt, Survive
By the time Gartner pronounced intrusion-detection technology obsolete in 2003, Sourcefire was developing its proprietary real-time network-awareness sensor technology for network security and management. "We needed to innovate ourselves out of the problem space we were in."


Shooting The Stars
An amateur astronomer, Roesch shares not only software but photos he takes of distant galaxies with fellow enthusiasts he meets through user groups for telescopic equipment and cameras. "There's a fun part of trying to get a good picture of a galaxy that's 60 million light-years away."

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