What: IID (Internet Identity), based in Tacoma Who: Rod Rasmussen, founder, president and CTO, 44 Mission: Protect businesses from Internet...

What: IID (Internet Identity), based in Tacoma

Who: Rod Rasmussen, founder, president and CTO, 44

Mission: Protect businesses from Internet crime.

Employees: 40 to 50

Financials: The privately held company does not disclose its financials.

Changing roles: When Rasmussen founded IID in 1996, the company focused on delivering e-mail and domain-name-registration services to business clients. As Internet threats grew in the late 1990s, the company began offering protection services. “We got into the security side of things because of the things that were coming after our clients,” said Rasmussen.

Early crime: One early success came in 1997 when the company detected a phishing attack conducted through America Online, long before the term was common. The company has since adapted to growing threats. “We’re doing things like infrastructure monitoring, reporting on problems and getting them fixed,” said Rasmussen.

Business beware: Rasmussen says small- and medium-size businesses are the target of Internet crime these days. “Consumers are protected for the most part,” he said of the fallout from identity theft and online crime. “As a business, there is no liability protection, and the bad guys have figured that out — that they can move $100,000 at a time out of small businesses. The No. 1 thing to do would be to get a cheap computer and use it alone for online banking and nothing else — no YouTube or anything else.”

Next target: The focus is on the Internet’s infrastructure, he said. “The bad guys are seeing it’s getting harder to attack institutions directly, so instead they’re looking to take over the way things are routed on the Internet,” he said.

— Patrick Marshall