Trident Capital creates $300 million fund to invest in cybersecurity innovation

As sector matures and criminals adapt, group looks for startups to support in addressing new threats

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Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty has become the fastest-grow­ing sec­tor in infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy. Glob­al spend­ing soared 8 per­cent to near­ly $82 bil­lion last year, accord­ing to tech­nol­o­gy research firm Gart­ner, and will grow 10 per­cent annu­al­ly until 2021.

For per­spec­tive, con­sid­er that the glob­al cyber­se­cu­ri­ty mar­ket was val­ued at only $3.5 bil­lion in 2004.

That’s why Tri­dent Cap­i­tal Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty (TCC) in Feb­ru­ary raised a $300 mil­lion cyber­se­cu­ri­ty ven­ture fund, the biggest-ever fund ded­i­cat­ed to cyber. It turned out to be twice as big as we ini­tial­ly expected.

What makes cyber­se­cu­ri­ty dif­fer­ent from oth­er IT sec­tors is that it is chron­i­cal­ly chang­ing. Cyber crim­i­nals nev­er stop learn­ing and adapt­ing. What was an effec­tive cyber defense today may no longer be tomorrow.

And there is no room for error. Giv­en the bliz­zard of cyber attacks—most major cor­po­ra­tions have been attacked, even though some have yet to real­ize it—corporate and gov­ern­ment defens­es must be right 100 per­cent of the time or be compromised.

Every­body in the cyber busi­ness today, includ­ing TCC, must con­tin­u­al­ly work hard to enhance their under­stand­ing of cyber­se­cu­ri­ty and ever-evolv­ing attack modes. And we must be com­fort­able in work­ing with a mov­ing tar­get, con­stant­ly antic­i­pat­ing what new threats may emerge next.

There are enor­mous invest­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties in cyber­se­cu­ri­ty. With many new secu­ri­ty threats to com­bat and sev­er­al con­cur­rent tech­nol­o­gy plat­form shifts, such as cloud com­put­ing, mobile appli­ca­tions and social media, we are in the midst of a cyber­se­cu­ri­ty solu­tions replace­ment cycle. In many cas­es, inno­v­a­tive new com­pa­nies are dis­plac­ing incumbents.

Most orga­ni­za­tions today con­tin­ue to pur­sue a strat­e­gy of lay­ing on a num­ber of dif­fer­ent cyber tech­nolo­gies. There is a need for some redun­dan­cy. But things have become over­ly com­plex and expen­sive and increas­ing­ly inef­fec­tive, part­ly because they rely on human judg­ment to dis­tin­guish between real threats and false alarms amid a severe short­age of secu­ri­ty experts.

The solu­tion, in part, is automa­tion, and TCC will be address­ing that and a num­ber of oth­er grow­ing issues.

Anoth­er inevitable chal­lenge will arrive as com­pa­nies look for ways to incor­po­rate new tech­nol­o­gy into every­day life, includ­ing smart city infra­struc­ture, dri­ver­less cars and the Inter­net of Things. We all know about their advan­tages. But it also will fuel a neg­a­tive byprod­uct that will have to be addressed—the cre­ation of new oppor­tu­ni­ties for cyber crim­i­nals to wreak havoc.

To suc­cess­ful­ly con­front such chal­lenges, TCC is count­ing on the help of our 47-per­son blue-rib­bon Indus­try Advi­so­ry Coun­cil to help our firm find high­ly promis­ing cyber­se­cu­ri­ty star­tups in which to invest and expe­dite their entry into the mar­ket­place. The coun­cil also will help all of us main­tain a bet­ter sense of what may lie down the cyber road. It rep­re­sents high-pow­ered CEOs of pri­vate and pub­lic com­pa­nies, CISOs of major orga­ni­za­tions, and for­mer gov­ern­ment secu­ri­ty lead­ers, includ­ing Kei­th Alexan­der, a for­mer direc­tor of the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency and now CEO of Iron­Net Cybersecurity.

TCC is priv­i­leged to have the new fund to invest in inno­va­tion in cyber. We are look­ing to part­ner with entre­pre­neurs to build the next gen­er­a­tion of dis­rup­tive cyber­se­cu­ri­ty companies.

More sto­ries relat­ed to cyber­se­cu­ri­ty funding:
Ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists start to tap into cyber­se­cu­ri­ty potential
Despite cyber­se­cu­ri­ty boom, few­er firms acquired or go public
Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty star­tups start to see slump in VC spending