Invention: Computer Virus Defense Techniques
Location: Los Angeles
Year Founded: 1983
Status: Created multi-billion dollar cybersecurity and anti-virus industry
Inventor: Fred Cohen
Fred Cohen didn’t just lay the foundation for creating his own business while he was a student at the USC School of Engineering in 1983. He pioneered an entirely new field that is still dominant three decades later. Cohen was the first to write a “parasitic” application that would “infect” computers—the first known virus—as a means of learning how to product networks from such an attack. His subsequent research has helped spawn the multi-billion dollar cybersecurity industry, which covers everything from simple antivirus software for personal computers to large-scale network security. Cohen currently owns his own private firm and frequently works closely with the U.S. government as a cybersecurity consultant.