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