The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the escalating cyber threats, stringent regulatory compliance requirements, and the increasing adoption of advanced technologies, and growing importance of technologies such as deep packet inspection, intrusion prevention systems, and application-layer filtering. In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Cybersecurity in technology: multi-level security firewalls. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

190+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 1.5 million patents, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, homomorphic encryption, signcryption, and trusted platform modules are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Side channel attack mitigation, biometric identification and monitoring, and secure hash algorithms (SHA) are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are elliptic curve cryptography and software watermarking, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for cybersecurity in the technology industry

Multi-level security firewalls is a key innovation area in cybersecurity

A multi-level security firewall employs distinct security measures at different network levels to guard against cyber threats. The strategy encompasses multiple tiers of defense working in tandem to thwart unauthorized entry, prevent data leakage, and avert potential security breaches.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of multi-level security firewalls.

Key players in multi-level security firewalls – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.  

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to multi-level security firewalls

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
eMemory Technology 21 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 66 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 106 Unlock Company Profile
Texas Instruments 72 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 120 Unlock Company Profile
Dell Technologies 132 Unlock Company Profile
Compellent Technologies 10 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 8 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced Micro Devices 20 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 10 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 11 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 58 Unlock Company Profile
Infineon Technologies 9 Unlock Company Profile
IBM 39 Unlock Company Profile
Broadcom 15 Unlock Company Profile
The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory 9 Unlock Company Profile
BlackBerry 11 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 21 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 359 Unlock Company Profile
Micron Technology 54 Unlock Company Profile
Semiconductor Energy Laboratory 9 Unlock Company Profile
Chipone Technology (Beijing) 7 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen Goodix Technology 9 Unlock Company Profile
Kioxia 9 Unlock Company Profile
Aurora Labs 110 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in multi-level security firewalls, Apple is one of the leading patents filers. The company’s patents are aimed at describing the methods and devices pertaining to the dynamic configuration of packet pools within networking stack architectures. In contrast to earlier approaches involving fixed memory allocations, the embodiments outlined here empower packet pools linked to applications in non-kernel spaces to flexibly assign more memory to a specific non-kernel space application, or alternatively, to reduce the memory allocated to it.

Other versions of this disclosure introduce the division of a memory allocation into portions accessible by devices and those accessible by the kernel. Additional variants involve adjusting the sizes of specific segment allocations to align with multiples of a physical address page size. This particular variant streamlines the process by requiring just a single input/output (I/O) bus address lookup for the designated segment, thereby minimizing the lookup costs associated with I/O operations for that segment. Other prominent patent filers in the space include Aurora Labs and Microsoft.

In terms of application diversity, Microsoft leads the pack, while Semiconductor Energy Laboratory and General Electric are in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Aurora Labs held the top position, followed by eMemory Technology and Microsoft. 

Multi-level security firewalls hold paramount significance in fortifying network defenses. By employing layered protection mechanisms, they act as a formidable barrier against a wide range of cyber threats. These firewalls filter incoming and outgoing traffic based on predefined security rules, significantly reducing the risk of unauthorized access, data breaches, and cyberattacks. Their importance is particularly evident in industries where sensitive information is paramount, such as finance, healthcare, and government.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cybersecurity.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.