It’s been a fast 15 months since I started on this journey working as the CTO for an investment bank. I’ve traveled all over the United States, held conversations with 100’s of Venture Capital, Private Equity, and exciting newer security startups. There have been a few trends which keep bubbling to the top that I wanted to share with all of you. As we all know cybersecurity isn’t anything new but something all companies, large and small, need to be doing. Cybersecurity has become an increasingly important area of focus for businesses and governments, with the rising frequency and severity of cyber-attacks as well as the renewed governance focus at the board level.

As a result, there has been a growing interest in investing in cybersecurity companies and technologies. Here are some of the investment trends in cybersecurity:

Cloud Security: With more businesses moving their operations to the cloud, cloud security has become a top priority. Investors are looking for companies that provide cloud security solutions, such as cloud access security brokers (CASBs), cloud security posture management (CSPM) tools, and cloud workload protection platforms (CWPPs). Using rough numbers from quarterly earnings of the top 3 cloud providers (GCP, AWS, and Microsoft) they are roughly $350b annual revenue which is a small percentage of the overall global IT spend of $4.2T. This area will continue to grow.

Identity and Access Management (IAM): IAM solutions have become essential for managing access to corporate networks, applications, and data. Investors are looking for companies that provide IAM solutions such as identity governance and administration (IGA), multi-factor authentication (MFA), privileged access management (PAM), and User access management.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): AI and ML are being used to enhance cybersecurity by enabling faster threat detection and response. Investors are looking for companies that provide AI and ML-powered solutions such as security analytics, threat detection and response, and fraud prevention. This area spooks me a bit as it’s moving so quickly and from what I’ve seen without any guardrails to keep it 100% safe, ethical, and working in the best interests of it’s creators.

Internet of Things (IoT) Security: As more devices become connected to the internet, IoT security has become a critical concern. Investors are looking for companies that provide IoT security solutions such as device management, data encryption, and firmware security. Other areas are Operational Technology (OT) which is a term defining a specific category of hardware and software whose purpose is to monitor and control the performance of physical devices. The other is Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) designed to incorporate technologies such as machine learning, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, sensor data, Big Data, etc.

Cyber Insurance: Cyber insurance has become increasingly popular as a way for businesses to mitigate the financial risks associated with cyber attacks. Investors are looking for companies that provide cyber insurance policies and risk assessment services. This is a growing area with a lot of unknown variables. Unlike traditional insurance such as life and auto the data available on cyber is limited to the past 40 years and is always advancing. This area will continue to mature and be extremely important as companies try to defer and manage their risk.

Cybersecurity Consulting and Integration: With cybersecurity becoming more complex, businesses are seeking the expertise of cybersecurity consultants to help them develop and implement effective cybersecurity strategies. Investors are looking for companies that provide cybersecurity consulting services. An offshoot of this is Cloud System Integration or Cloud SI. Companies who can help other companies to deploy the cloud solutions they have acquired to get it deployed in the quickest way possible. These companies who are “born in the cloud” have an advantage today because they have the ability to move at “cloud speed”. The issue is training the talent to do the work.

Overall, the cybersecurity industry is expected to continue to grow, and investors are expected to continue to invest in companies that provide innovative and effective cybersecurity solutions.

About the author

Shawn Anderson has an extensive background in cybersecurity, beginning his career while serving in the US Marine Corps. He played a significant role as one of the original agents in the cybercrime unit of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Throughout his career, Anderson has held various positions, including Security Analyst, Systems Engineer, Director of Security, Security Advisor, and twice as a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). His CISO roles involved leading security initiatives for a large defense contractor’s intelligence business and an energy company specializing in transporting environmentally friendly materials.

Beyond his professional achievements, Anderson is recognized for his expertise in the field of cybersecurity. He is a sought-after speaker, writer, and industry expert, providing valuable insights to both C-Suite executives and boards of directors.

Currently, Anderson serves as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Boston Meridian Partners. In this role, he evaluates emerging technologies, collaborates with major security providers to devise cybersecurity strategies, and delivers technology insights to the private equity and venture capital community.

Overall, Shawn Anderson’s career journey showcases a wealth of experience in cybersecurity and leadership roles, making him a respected and influential figure in the industry.