The number of cybersecurity risks already makes this a complex area—and issues like the Internet of Things, the General Data Protection Regulation or migration to Cloud services don’t make the situation any easier. Relief is being promised by start-ups, offering customised solutions for specific such problems. Does this mean that established providers are falling behind?
Can you list from memory all the threats your company or your sensitive data is exposed to on a daily basis? Unless you completed a risk assessment literally last week, the answer is bound to be—no. The number of threats is already beyond manageable, and the area open to attack increases with every new IT service a company rolls out. Accordingly, the money being committed worldwide for cybersecurity hardware and software and services is also growing: according to IDC, from USD 83.5 bn in 2017 to around USD 120 bn in 2021.
No cybersecurity solutions provider can cover every vulnerability—and that therefore allows plenty of space for inventive start-ups to operate in, by taking on specific, particularly urgent problems for business users. Particularly when it comes to the “human factor” vulnerability, many providers find this hard going: impactful awareness programmes and anti-phishing training first came from start-ups who took on the “Layer 8 problem”. Somewhat later, established providers followed into this space with their own offerings, in some cases brought into their own portfolio via startup takeovers.
Newcomers are also making their mark in connection with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): risk assessments are generally essential for GDPR compliance. Various start-ups offer tools that handle these analyses largely automatically, thus easing the pressure on already over-stretched cybersecurity and compliance teams within companies. And even in areas as current as combating malware, it pays off for users if providers depart from well-trodden (technical) paths and adopt new, smart methods to hunt down the constantly-evolving malware threats.
But established providers are far from being out of the running: increasingly, companies are moving over to obtaining their cybersecurity solutions from a single source or from just a few sources, to lower costs and avoid frictions. That’s because the arsenal of protective mechanisms they buy in can be every bit as unmanageable as the scope of the threats. If all the tools used come from the same provider’s toolkit, there are fewer frictional losses. So start-ups either need to mesh their products as well as possible with existing management platforms—or hope to be taken over by one of the top dogs. Either way, companies benefit from the more modern tools available to them. They can find solutions to fit their requirements on the market.
At Command Control 2018 you came in touch with attractive start-ups in our Start-up area.