For those who have been in the information security field for a while, Security Yearbook 2020: A History and Directory of the IT Security Industry (It-Harvest Publishing 978-1945254048) is like a pleasant walk down memory lane. The book details security firms we all know and sometimes love, such as Symantec, Check Point, Palo Alto Networks and more. And then companies that have faded away or been absorbed, such as Network Associates, Vigilinx and many others.

My friend and author Richard Stiennon has written two books in one. As the title notes, it is both a history and directory of the information security industry. The history section also includes first-person accounts of the industry by luminaries such as Gil Shwed, Founder of Check Point Software, Chris Blask, Co-inventor of the BorderWare Firewall and NAT (network address translation), Ron Moritz, former Executive at Finjan, Symantec, CA, Microsoft, OurCrowd and other legends.

The history part is focused on products and companies that have shaped and are shaping the IT and security world. Stiennon segments the industry into network security, DDoS Defense, endpoint protection from AV to EDR, identify and access management, data security, GRC (governance, risk and compliance) and more.

For each technology, Stiennon details the companies that shaped and developed that segment, those that were acquired, went bankrupt and those that actually created workable solutions. It is a fascinating and enjoyable read of many companies that were often the next best thing and were going to revolutionize the industry—to which some have, and others simply withered away.

The last chapter is two pages on failed security companies. I think Stiennon could have written a lot more on that topic of failure, as the security industry is littered with such companies; in fact, too many to name.

While the history section makes for a great read, the directory of over 2,300 companies is meant as a reference.


The directory includes vendor lists arranged alphabetically, by country and by category.

As to country listings—the United States is first, followed by Israel, UK, Canada and Germany for the top five.
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