2017 should be remembered as a momentous year for the Cybersecurity Security industry considering how well Cybersecurity companies are doing on the stock markets, how Cybersecurity startups securing most investments, and how they are taking innovation and ingenuity up a notch. Palo Alto Networks has a market cap of a whopping 13.4bn, while the company has estimated to raise more than $4bn in funding this year, and there were a handful of exits like Argus or Fireglass (sold to Symantec which nets more than $bn in sales each year). There are a lot of companies on the verge of exit like those in this article, and others which are creating truly unique solutions for paramount problems like Indegy for ICS Networks or Illusive Networks who create decoys for attackers.
The questions that many people from outside the industry ask themselves is why is Cybersecurity booming so heavily right now. There are a bunch of technological fields right now which address much broader issues. 3d printing can change the way in which manufacturing is working. Food supplements could eliminate world hunger. Internet infrastructure startups and initiatives can connect remote parts of the world to human knowledge, and potentially take the world’s economy to the next level. So why is cyber security attracting so much attention and money as it does?
The reason is human nature. People like to feel safe and secured and they are willing to pay for it. Organizations like to safe and secure even better, and they have a lot of money to spend on b2b solutions. So, the first part of the equation is that cyber security companies (or at least most of them) are targeting business clients rather than retail, and that’s the right type of audience because corporations can pay a lot for a customized solution that will save them some future headaches. Even if that product won’t save anything, it will add to the good feeling of stakeholders knowing that there is some sort of security in place as opposed to having no security in place, right?
The second part of the equation is made of the fact that warfare is moving digitally. That means there are a lot of government interests in attacking/shutting down business from “enemy countries”. That creates even more panic than there is normally. If you are up to date with the news you currently hear about Chinese shenanigans or Russian mind control.
The third reason is the world is getting more digitalized and more connected than ever before. Who would have thought about self-driving cars with internet access just years ago? Who would have thought about “Smart Fridges” at any point in time until those were released? (and what the heck can you do with them – that question still boggles me to this day).
So, should I rush and create my own Cybersecurity business?
The answer is that you should, if you have unique knowledge, special capabilities, or extraordinary financing. If you don’t it will be hard to compete. You can’t really go ahead and make your Cybersecurity biz at your parents’ basement. There’s too much involved when you’re creating that type of software, you need a large staff of very trained coders to create even relatively simple solution, and it would take years until you tap out any profit. At the end of this road, if you did well, you shall be rewarded, but until then there would be many millions spilled down the drain.