Startup Innovation Is the Future of Information Security

Innovation is no stranger to information security. There is a new security-focused startup coming out of stealth every few weeks. There are lots of infosec challenges, and startups are poised to tackle some of them.

There are plenty of failures in information security—whether we are looking at companies slapping new marketing labels on ineffective security solutions, data breaches, or serious vulnerabilities afflicting networks and software. But there are plenty of startups focusing on making things better and trying something different in order to advance information security.

innovation sandboxOrganizations see new security risks and threats against their networks and data every day. Consumers are bombarded with new attacks. With new connected devices coming on the market, security can’t be ignored. Parents who thought they were getting their kids a cool toy should be upset at the amount of data that was collected and stolen by criminals who targeted VTech. Anyone who was planning to buy Hello Barbie should probably think twice.

Security startups are the ones developing innovative products addressing the risks of the new reality. They are the ones working on the tough problems to make our future better than our present.

Where the money is

We’ve had several members from the venture capital community weigh in on what they look for when evaluating startups for their portfolio. These investors are thinking about the big questions—say identity and authentication—and looking for companies who have tackled these problems in a new way.

MarketsandMarkets is forecasting some serious growth for the information security industry in 2020: The security analytics market will be worth 7.1 billion; the cybersecurity market worth $170.21 billion; the threat intelligence security market worth $5.86 billion; and the advanced persistent threat protection market worth $8.7 billion. The Cybersecurity Market Report from Cybersecurity Ventures claims the market will grow from $71 billion in 2014 to $155 billion by 2019.

Venture capital firms are throwing money at security companies claiming they can solve major infosec challenges. Consider that $7.2 billion has been invested into 1,208 private cybersecurity startups over the past five years, according to CB Insights. In the fourth quarter of 2015, we’ve already seen ThreatQuotient, a threat intelligence platform provider, raise $10.2 million and Signals, a data analytics technology company, raise $15 million. TruSTAR, the platform for anonymous cyberincident sharing and collaboration raised $2 million this quarter. Bracket Computing, a company providing secure virtual infrastructure, raised $45 million from investors.

Innovation as a growing focus

The market isn’t growing at this rate because everyone is coming out with the same products—there are new solutions hitting the market trying to solve security problems in novel ways. Consider the number of startups tackling the age-old question of identity and authentication, and others looking at how to secure the network now that the cloud and mobile computing have blurred the perimeter.

Companies are even tapping security experts for the role of the Chief Innovation Officer (CINO). The CINO’s key role is to constantly “bang the drum” for innovative ideas and projects, identifying and proposing areas to deploy technology to drive business goals, and get things done. CINOs create environments where actual innovators can thrive.

Mike Kaill, the former CIO of Netflix and Yahoo, is now the chief innovation officer of Cybric, a new security startup focusing on the security remediation process.

Innovation Sandbox at RSA Conference 2016

RSA Conference is no stranger to innovation. The Innovation Sandbox Contest returns to the conference for the eleventh year, and the application process is currently underway. We're looking for the most cutting-edge, most innovative startup in the land. Could it be yours?

Here are some helpful do's and don'ts for submitting your application and a look at our Gallery of Victors, whose innovative businesses have won the contest in the past including Sourcefire, the winner of the inaugural Innovation Sandbox Contest. Sourcefire raised $71 million from its 2007 IPO and was acquired by Cisco in 2013 for $2.7 billion. 

Posted on December 9, 2015

Jennifer Lawinski

by Jennifer Lawinski

Editor-In-Chief, RSA Conference

USA 2016

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