Industries That Boomed During the Pandemic: Security

Bessie LiuFeatures

Cybercrime in 2021 has so far caused damages totaling a whopping $6 trillion globally. Image courtesy of Sigmund via Unsplash.

In the first half of 2021, there were a total of 1,767 publicly reported data breaches, exposing 18.8 billion records. In dollars, cybercrime in 2021 has so far caused damages totaling a whopping $6 trillion globally. In fact, if cybercrime were a nation, it would have the third-largest economy in the world, trailing only behind the US and China. Although the number of breaches in 2021 is 24% less than in 2020, many companies are still ill-equipped for a completely remote workplace and security initiatives have not been effectively implemented to prevent data breaches and cyberattacks. As a result, the demand for secure and robust networks has accelerated significantly.

“The more you step out of your best practices and your tools and frameworks, the more opportunity you create for hackers to access information,” Steve Garrison, VP of Marketing at Stellar Cyber, told The Org. “A lot of the initial attacks were people just spoofing or making websites look like government logoed URLs.”

Many hackers have been able to access devices and propagate into an organization through low-level employees. Once inside, hackers will wait a period of time, circling and looking for higher-value assets until they hit the jackpot.

This is exactly what happened to SolarWinds, a major U.S. information technology firm, where hackers went undetected for months, and eventually added malicious codes to the company’s software system that was installed and updated by over 18,000 of its customers, including high profile companies and US government agencies.

“This is the scary part about cybersecurity. It's no longer a question of when you've been breached. It's now a question of how quickly can you see that you have been breached and how quickly can you react to it,” Garrison said.

Stellar Cyber’s founder and VP of Engineering, Aimei Wei, recognized this growing issue at an early stage while she was working as a Senior Software Engineer at Cisco. She began speaking with people about the problems the company was having and noticed there was a cybersecurity data overload issue, whereby there were too few security analysts to cover the amount of manual work required to spot complex attacks.

Wei invented cybersecurity sensors powered by AI and machine learning to solve this problem. Today, Stellar Cyber is currently a leading provider for Open Extended Detection and Response (XDR) services; the company has raised $21.8 million since its genesis and is only expected to grow from here.

“We think all round detection and response is better than extending detection and response from one siloed tool,” Garrison said. “Our software enables us to see everything in real time across all assets -- the entire attack surface we look across those endpoints and glue it all together.”

Of course, the security industry is not just limited to preventing cyber attacks, Trustpage is an AI-assisted trust center for software teams. The company provides teams with a centralized space for managing and sharing their organization’s complete security posture.

“A lot of buyers didn’t know how to properly assess the security of SaaS companies and cloud software, they were still in an on-premise data center mentality,” Chase Lee, CEO of Trustpage, told The Org. “It made it more urgent to address these issues with more people now working remotely.”

The company was founded in early 2020, and Lee has so far seen a lot of interest in his product. Despite this, he said he didn’t feel comfortable fundraising during the pandemic and self-funded Trustpage until December of last year.

“So in December, I wanted to fundraise again. I had conversations with a small group of people and I don’t think we had a single investor say no to us, so it showed a really strong response to what we were doing and it felt really good,” Lee said.

In fact, Trustpage is not the only security startup that has been lucky with investors, a DataTribe report shows investment in cybersecurity startups have seen a 33% increase over the past year.

“When we launched our product, we ended up number two on Product Hunt for the day, which was an awesome outcome,” Lee said. “We will keep iterating the product to make it more valuable for folks so that we can continue to accommodate some of our larger customers.”

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