A string of high profile cyber-attacks in recent years has left many companies rushing to overhaul their security measures. What was previously thought of as a purely technical issue is increasingly viewed as a broader strategic risk issue, with many firms building security measures and practices into their core business plans and processes.
Recent research by PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC) into technology trends found that 39% of top-level businesses are investing in cybersecurity this year. This is opening up exciting opportunities for IT start-ups and entrepreneurs with the expertise (and confidence) to capitalise on this demand.
One such success story is CloudFlare, which launched four years ago at the 2010 TechCrunch Disrupt Conference. Specialising in the protection of websites against hackers means that the company has come under plenty of cyber-attacks itself, but so far has had remarkably few hiccups. In 2011, months after securing US $20m in funding from New Enterprise Associates, it was awarded “Most Innovative Network & Internet Technology Company of 2011” by the Wall Street Journal. Last month, the company successfully staved off 300Gb of DDoS attacks on Popvote during its political reform referendum in Hong Kong, ensuring that online voting was able to go ahead.
In Silicon Valley, investment in cyber security continues to boom, with average company valuations by venture capital firms soaring 41% to US $31.5m, according to the Financial Times. Rising stars include maths-based threat detection and prevention company Cylance as well as Ionic Security, which specialises in advanced data encryption methods, and “real-time polymorphists” Shape Security, both of which have attracted backing from Google Ventures.