The past 12 months or so continued a multiyear streak of data breaches, identify thefts, phishing incidents, ransomware attacks and other malware intrusions that have cost organizations billions of dollars and damaged credibility throughout the world. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that the attacks have created a huge amount of opportunities for some companies. According to VentureBeat, at least four security-related companies recently raised close to $200 million in equity from prominent venture capitalists and investors, including Google’s venture arm, Intel and Sequoia.
With the global cybersecurity workforce estimated by some to be almost two million people short by 2022, there is a huge demand for security technology to do the job in place of people.
Just recently, Menlo Security, a start-up in the space, raised $40 million from American Express Ventures, Ericsson Ventures, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase and other well-known investment firms to continue the development and expansion of its “isolation” platform. The company, founded in 2013, has raised about $85 million to date.
“Customers are demanding more durable approaches to malware prevention, versus a long legacy of solutions that remain perennially vulnerable to the latest attacks,” the company’s chief executive Amir Ben-Efraim told VentureBeat. Ben-Efraim claims none of the million users protected by the company’s security platform has experienced any infections, according to a company news release.
Menlo says hundreds of companies such as Macy’s and Fujiitsu are already using its cloud-based software, which sits between people’s devices and the Internet. The software, after examining online access requests, blocks malware and then streams safe versions of websites to the end user. What’s most attractive is that Menlo’s platform requires no local software downloads or installations.
A just-released PricewaterhouseCoopers survey found that while many executives around the world are getting better at acknowledging the risks posed by today’s cybersecurity threats, there are still companies that are unprepared to deal with them — and this presents opportunities for firms in the security space. “An environment free from malware is absolutely essential in fostering innovation, collaboration, and discovery,” said Albert Kim, Head of Ericsson Ventures, in the VentureBeat report.