Name: Intelli7

Location: Washington

Funding: The company has raised $3.6 million from Novak Biddle Venture Partners.

Big idea: Intelli7 has created software that analyzes multiple levels of network traffic and makes real-time security decisions about whether to allow certain traffic. "We can stop bad things from coming into the network, manage applications on the network and control whether or not data is flowing through the network so private proprietary data doesn't get out," said Steve Jessey, vice president of strategic marketing.

How it works: The company's software is installed on an appliance that plugs into a customer's network. "Our technology can pick out bad traffic but still allow things like online banking to occur," said Phillip Zakas, chief executive and founder.

Where the idea was hatched: Zakas said he once worked as a cryptanalyst -- a decoder of secret messages -- for a government agency that he did not identify. He said he also performed network penetrations as part of a team that would break into a client's network and steal data in order to identify vulnerabilities. "We found there's a tremendous disconnect between the kind of security people would like to have . . . and what's actually implementable," Zakas said.

Big-name customer: Zakas declined to disclose customers. He called the financial services sector Intelli7's "sweet spot" now, and said the company is expanding into telecommunications and transportation.

Price: The average system starts at $20,000 for a very small network, increasing with the size of the network and the complexity of the problems.

Founded: May 2004

Who's in charge: Zakas, Jessey and Dan Carayiannis, vice president of sales

Employees: 14. Zakas said he hopes to have more than 20 by fall.

Web site: www.intelli7.com

Partners: CapTech Ventures Inc. of Richmond

What the name means: "Intelli7 means intelligence at all seven layers of network traffic, from users to data to network protocols that make networks work," Zakas said.

Best employee perk: Online video game tournaments are an almost daily diversion, with two PlayStation2 systems available. "Everyone's working crazy hours here," Zakas said, "and so it's more like a family than it is just a typical company at this stage."

Quote: "On a daily basis we're blocking thousands of attacks that would otherwise result in data compromise," Zakas said. "All of our clients are under attack 24 hours a day."

-- Andrea Caumont

Steve Jessey, vice president of strategic marketing, left, and Phillip Zakas, chief executive, lead Intelli7.