2014: The year Security Startups make their Mark

2013 was the the year most people woke up to the issues of security and privacy concerns. Businesses certainly reexamined their exposure to risk.  A recent SilverSky study suggested that a majority of IT leaders say their firms are as safe, or safer, from data-security threats, as compared to 12 months previously. Companies will spend approximately $67 billion to secure their data this year. By 2016, the price of keeping business data safe is expected to reach $86 billion. With all that money being spent, it provides great opportunity for new innovative start-ups dedicated to security, to shake things up a little.

There is even an information security startup accelerator focused on launching new product companies, which will deliver the next generation of cyber-security solutions. MACH37 was conceived and developed by the Center for Innovative Technology and is supported by a community of hundreds of security leaders who contribute to company development. Over 100 organizations including Lockheed Martin, In-Q-Tel, General Dynamics, Northern Virginia Technology Council, Virginia Tech, Intel, New Enterprise Associates and the Department of Defense were instrumental in developing MACH37.

The accelerator takes entrepreneurs through an intensive 90-day program to validate their ideas, technologies and markets, and ultimately launch companies that secure private investment for growth. The new cyber-security accelerator at the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), recently held its first Demo Day where ten start-ups pitched to over 100 investors. Attendees represented the top-tier venture capital firms, leading edge tech companies and angel groups from the east coast of the U.S.

Four start-up attendees were graduates of MACH37.  A second track showcased later stage cyber-security companies from the CIT GAP Funds portfolio. Upon acceptance into the program, companies receive a cash investment to complement program participation in exchange for a small amount of equity. Following completion of the program, the CIT GAP Funds will match up to $100,000 for companies with a significant presence in Virginia. MACH37 companies will benefit from ongoing access to MACH37’s vast network resources and support throughout the life of their enterprise.

There are already some hot security start-ups making waves such as Marble Cloud Security, ThreatMetrix and Wickr, an app I suggest you check out, if you like elements of Snapchat.

Esecurityplanet recently examined the hottest areas start-ups are dedicating their time. These include app and data virtualization/containerization, data encryption and tokenization and secure authentication. Here is their recommended list of security startups to keep an eye on for 2014:

  • Armor5. Armor5 is a cloud service that virtualizes applications, data and content such as Office documents and PDFs on any mobile device with no configuration and zero data leakage.
  • Averail. The Averail Access mobile app combines with a cloud-based management console to create a trusted environment to protect files, regardless of where they are stored.
  • Bromium. Bromium’s vSentry uses Intel CPU features for virtualization and security to hardware-isolate each user task that accesses the Internet or untrusted documents.
  • CipherCloud. CipherCloud delivers security controls including encryption, tokenization, cloud data loss prevention and cloud malware detection.
  • Cylance. Cylance’s Infinity offers intelligent, predictive threat analysis of good vs. bad objects using a non-signature, non-heuristic and non-behavioral based mathematical approach.
  • FireEye. FireEye provides automated threat forensics and dynamic malware protection against security threats, including advanced persistent threats (APTs) and spear phishing.
  • Invincea. Invincea’s application can be deployed on Windows endpoints to protect against untrusted content by moving browsers, PDF readers, Office suite, zip files and other chosen executables into a secure virtual container.
  • NetCitadel. NetCitadel’s threat management platform provides security analytics and threat context for intelligence and incident response.
  • Nok Nok Labs. Nok Nok Labs develops two-factor authentication systems for desktops, mobile devices and servers.
  • PrivateCore. PrivateCore vCage secures server data in use through memory encryption, helping enterprises and service providers deploy applications in untrusted environments while protecting sensitive data.
  • Skyhigh Networks. Skyhigh Networks’ cloud security software helps businesses secure their data in the cloud by discovering the cloud services employees are using, analyzing risk and enforcing cloud security policies.
  • Stormpath. Stormpath is a cloud service that helps developers build secure authentication and access control into any application, via a robust REST+JSON API or client libraries.
  • Trustware. Trustware’s BufferZone virtualization technology creates a separate environment called a Virtual Zone where all Internet activity and programs from external devices are contained and virtualized.