Last year, several major enterprise-level companies experienced costly cybersecurity breaches. As cybersecurity threats continue to heighten, multiple industries — aerospace, defense, government, financial services, insurance, healthcare, and retail — are adopting all-new strategies to mitigate cybersecurity risk. In fact, approximately 38 percent of organizations have instituted cyber threat intelligence programs in the last two to five years. Unfortunately, with more sophisticated attackers, many of these businesses are still struggling to protect valuable information and data.
"The cybersecurity industry is a rapidly changing beast in which the good guys and the bad guys are constantly trying to one up each other," says James Paine, Inc. contributor. "As soon as an exploit is discovered, white hat developers scramble to find a fix while the black hats try to take advantage of it for profit — or sometimes just for fun."
The cybersecurity industry is expected to grow more than 10 percent annually over the next five years. The industry will be worth more than $202 billion by 2021. In recent years, several cybersecurity specialists have emerged. Here is a look at the top five cybersecurity startups in 2018.
The Top Cybersecurity Startups of 2018
Darktrace uses artificial intelligence systems to identify and respond to security threats in real-time. Within the last five years, Darktrace has identified 63,500 previously unknown threats in over 5,000 networks across the world. Since 2013, the startup has expanded into international locations including San Francisco, New York, Milan, Mumbai, Paris, Singapore, and others.
"It's only been four and a half years since we launched, but our foot has been to the floor in terms of growth, "says Poppy Gustafsson, chief executive at Darktrace. "That growth was triggered by the fact that cyber is a problem that hasn't been solved. For a long time, there was this idea that you could just keep people off your network, but there has now been so many high-profile attacks, it seems like every week there's a story about a breach."
What to Watch: Darktrace has experienced revenue growth of over 600 percent year over year. Rumors suggest that the company may soon file for an IPO. For more information, visit https://www.darktrace.com/.
Dan Smith and Sidd Gavirneni founded Zeguro in 2016. Zeguro provides a virtual security officer combined with tailored cyber insurance for small and medium enterprises. Through this platform, businesses can better understand their cybersecurity risks, proactively and automatically decrease those risks, and get the appropriate insurance in place if breached. Additionally, Zeguro provides cybersecurity training to employees to help them be aware of cybersecurity risks.
"Zeguro is the only holistic platform that combines all aspects of cyber risk management — risk assessment, mitigation, and transfer. Our data-driven approach correlates information about the three pillars of cybersecurity — people, processes, and technology — to then provide the right recommendations and the right insurance," says Smith.
What to Watch: This year, Zeguro will be launching an innovative and comprehensive cyber insurance product and scaling in the United States and the United Kingdom. Additionally, Zeguro plans to bring in key hires in engineering and business development. For more information, visit https://www.zeguro.com/.
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Founded by Yonatan Amit, Lior Div, and Yossi Naar in 2012, Cybereason is committed to helping businesses proactively identify malicious cyber operations. Cybereason does this by utilizing artificial intelligence technology to monitor network endpoints including laptops, mobile devices, and servers. The platform's artificial intelligence becomes more adept at detecting malicious activity by "asking" each endpoint eight million questions per second.
"In the movies, you might see somebody breaking in and then shortly thereafter, running out with [corporate secrets]," says Cybereason VP Mark Taber. "But in reality, there's a long process and a whole bunch of different actions and things that these attackers are doing once they're inside. This sort of sophistication, up until a couple years ago, was only at the nation-state level, not at the enterprise."
What to Watch: In 2017, Cybereason received a $100 million investment from Softbank. Additionally, CB Insights estimates Cybereason to be worth more than $900 million. Cybereason plans to achieve unicorn status in 2018. For more information, visit https://www.cybereason.com/.
Since 2014, PerimeterX has helped businesses defend against bot attacks. Bots are software applications that run automated tasks or scripts over the internet. Last holiday season, bots made headlines for buying out one popular children's toy. PerimeterX utilizes machine-learning to identify non-human behaviors, helping companies mitigate potential bot attacks sooner.
"Next-generation automated web attacks today threaten the integrity of the web by impersonating humans and abusing business logic rather than breaching systems, and they even harm the integrity of our political system by spreading fake news," says Omri IIuz, CEO of PerimeterX.
As the proliferation of online shopping and the sophistication of hackers continues to increase, PerimeterX is poised for continued growth. In fact, the startup raised $34.5 million to date, including a $23 million Series B in June 2017.
What to Watch: Perimeter X has grown its headcount by nearly 25 percent. This year, the company will continue to expand its behavioral threat-detection platform. For more information, visit https://www.perimeterx.com/.
Obsidian's mission is to revolutionize how organizations use data science and security technologies to combat cybersecurity threats across hybrid-cloud environments. The company was founded in 2017. Obsidian is expected to scale fast thanks to the top executive talent that it has curated. The founders include veterans from Cylance, Carbon Black, and the National Security Agency. Obsidian has already raised 9.5 million in Series A from Greylock Partners.
“The direction they’re leaning in is focused on helping large enterprises better manage and protect user accounts both on premise and in the cloud,” says Greylock partner Asheem Chandna. "They’re looking to apply AI and machine-learning at broad-based level."
What to Watch: This year, analysts suggest that Obsidian is expected to achieve massive growth. Currently, the company is focusing its efforts around hiring. For more information, visit https://www.obsidiansecurity.com/.
Scale Faster with RocketSpace
This year, industry-leading cybersecurity firms will continue to solve the world's most pressing cybersecurity issues. From bots to malware, hackers will continue to utilize the latest strategies to threaten top enterprises, governments, and more.
RocketSpace supports some of the brightest minds in cybersecurity. In fact, RocketSpace provides Seed to Series C funded tech startups with warm introductions to investors, thriving community of tech talent, and affordable workspace options in San Francisco and London. Leading tech enterprises including Spotify, Uber, and Zappos utilized the RocketSpace tech ecosystem to stay lean and scale at a higher velocity. Is your tech startup next?