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Investment in cyberthreat security is on the rise

13/08/2015 by Sharon Shahzad


Over the past few years the threat of a cyber-attack has increased significantly and several high-profile attacks on global corporations and governments have made businesses even more aware of the dangers. It seems many companies are sitting up and taking notice, with the amount of investment into security and defences on the rise.

The latest figures to be released show that the first six months of 2015 saw startups in cybersecurity raise $1.2bn (£770m) in funding. CB Insights also said that there had been $2.5bn in funding during 2014 which, in itself, was a 47% rise on the figure for 2013. This clearly shows that multinational corporations and investors are increasingly looking to innovative new companies for help with their online security measures.

Two companies that found large investments during funding rounds are Illumio and Tanium. In the second quarter of 2015 these firms found gained funding for their new technology specifically aimed at addressing the risk of hacking from sophisticated criminals; meanwhile, $150m was raised by Lookout as it looked to expand from a consumer mobile security firm to a larger company able to serve the world’s largest enterprises.

One of the latest firms to join the mix and enjoy a large funding round is Zscaler. This San Jose-based firm was founded in 2008 and inspects website to identify potentially harmful threats. On 10th August Zscaler announced that it had raised $100m from TPG along with its current investors Lightspeed Ventures and EMC. Using their current payment model, firms subscribe via a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. They then direct all web traffic via Zscaler’s system so it can be vetted. With a consumer base of over 5,000 firms, including Del Monte, Autodesk and Humana, the company looks set to enjoy continued growth.

“We have spent significant time looking at the cybersecurity space over the past few years, including much larger competitors to Zscaler,” one of TPG’s partners, Nehal Raj, explained by email. “Unlike the appliance-focused incumbents, Zscaler's SaaS platform allows for massive scalability, facilitates adoption of a broad suite of solutions, and follows the overall migration of enterprise software to the cloud.”

With concerns regarding online threats still growing, it is natural for companies to look at new ways and innovative processes to safeguard their business. Whilst focussing on individual firewalls and shoring up their defences, companies are also increasingly looking at the variety of new tools and technology that startups are developing. With much investment being funnelled into these small firms, it is likely the range of cybersecurity solutions in development will continue to grow.

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