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Cybersecurity Startups to Watch/Funding Opportunities

Cybersecurity surrounds the hardware, software and services that protect a compilation of computers, networks, data and infrastructure. There are many forms of protection to include risk management, access control, incident response, destruction and more. Many startups are working to protect against these threats – from hackers, malware, and/or criminals that would seek to do harm. With such a variety of opportunities in cyber space, and the growing sophistication of hackers and criminals, companies are eagerly looking to becoming a part of this endeavor (Blankenship, n.d.).

The explosion of cybersecurity has had its impact on everyone, we see an increasing number of business start-ups in specific areas like: cloud infrastructure, data centers, incident response, risk assessments and more. The cybersecurity market has become flooded with a myriad of startups hoping to gain a foothold in this highly competitive space. In addition, there is a lot of funding up for grabs; grants are available in upwards of $25 million with expected increases over the next several years. Movers and shakers in the cybersecurity niche can expect to acquire funding, particularly if they are unique in their security products, tools or services.

Some of those notable in the industry are as follows (Chickowski, 2017)

  • Bitglass – cloud access
  • Bromium – malware protection and solutions
  • Cyence – risk modeling platform for insurance
  • Darktrace – anomaly protection (self-learning platform)
  • Demisto – information sharing and collaboration platform
  • Druva – cloud platform
  • io –security and compliance monitoring
  • Fugue –cloud operating system/enforcement
  • IntSights -Cyber attack detection and response platform
  • Kenna – Risk intelligence and vulnerability platform (prioritizing and remediating vulnerabilities)

Funding and investments into firms, like those above are becoming more prominent. Security firm Trend Micro has recently become the latest organization to throw their hat into the cyber investment opportunity world. Headquartered in Japan, Trend Micro is offering $100 million tied to opportunities in the internet of things (IOT) space. Trend Micro is famous for its IT security products, particularly in the areas of antivirus and threat protection; they are seeking fresh ideas, innovation and new approaches. Organizations, like Trend Micro, believe these investments are critical to its core business process; insights uncovered will foster improved business models, close gaps and address skill shortages…the learning will not only benefit the startup but also TrendMicro as well (Russell, 2017).

One new focus area is that of phishing attacks; cybersecurity companies and startups in particular are flocking to develop threat management platforms for this issue. They tackle the problems of these specific emails and work to mitigate them; developing phishing attack solutions and protections can save businesses massive amounts of money, not to mention their reputations.

Cybersecurity funding deals topped $866 million in the first quarter of 2017 with an additional $588 million worth of investments in third quarter on over 50 deals. Private funding has also topped $3.93 billion this year with a total of 509 deals, putting it on track to become a 2017 record. Examples include: Tenable Network Security in Columbia, MD ($302 million); Tanium inc. in California ($295 million), Lookout, inc. in California ($281 million), OpenPeak in Florida ($233 million) and CrowdStrike ($256 million) (Stewart, 2017).

With the trend of startups focusing on specific security issues, they have an extremely bright future. Whether looking at incident response, process automation or protection, there is much room of any and all to capitalize on their craft. Opportunities in the cyber space are plentiful, and with the increasing demand for security protection, startups are in the driver’s seat to success.


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About The Author

Dr. Donna Day is a Manager at the Department of Defense, where she has been for more than 30 years. With a background in Information Assurance, Customer Engagement and Marketing, more recently she has been studying Cyber security Policy and Management at the University of Maryland, University College (UMUC). She earned her Doctor of Management, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Science Degree in Technology Management at UMUC and received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing at the University of Baltimore. Dr. Day is also an Adjunct Professor at Norwich University in Vermont, where she teaches Cyber security, Critical Infrastructure and Information Assurance courses to a myriad of students, worldwide, from across the intelligence community. A published author, Baltimore Ravens fan, and life-long learner, she enjoys writing, traveling, cooking, and most importantly, spending time with her family and friends.