Global funding for start-ups exploded this year, with the cyber security market riding its own wave, accelerated by the pandemic boom. In the first half of 2021, the market has already surpassed the $7.8 billion raised the previous year.
Developments in this market were already motoring along, boosted further by the need to step up security and protect against global cyber-attacks. According to a recent Gov.UK report, the cyber industry attracted record investment last year, despite the global pandemic, contributing more than £4bn to the economy and attracting £800m of investment. Valuations for companies in these markets are going through the roof, according to Crunchbase . In terms of strategic marketing and PR in cyber security, it is now more important to differentiate and stay ahead of the game.
Cyber security is certainly a huge part of that UK growth and will continue to see increasing investment as organisations from one-person outfits to PLCs look to fend off near constant attacks on their systems.
This is supported by massive infrastructure projects, such as the Golden Valley Development in Cheltenham. Cyber companies are well-placed to spearhead the UK’s economic recovery from coronavirus-induced harm as well as protect businesses and infrastructures from cyber-crime.
In no particular order, here are some of the leading cyber security firms to watch in 2021:
Angoka, an IoT (Internet of Things) security start-up, serves sectors including Smart Cities, Industry 4.0, autonomous vehicles and critical infrastructure, providing hardware solutions for businesses operating in those industries.
It is one of the cyber companies with a clear focus on M2M (machine to machine) communications. Angoka uses its own patented technology developed to create and maintain trust between physical devices, thereby enabling completely secure communications for users even over “zero trust” networks. The firm, which is based in Northern Ireland, has its IoT security solutions embedded directly into users’ hardware, creating secure device integration and communication, eliminating the need for continuous security updates.
The firm took part in several acceleration start ups including: NCSC’s Cyber Accelerator, Seraphim Space Camp, Yes!, Delft and TechNation Cyber 2.0. Most recently, they were selected for Zenzic’s Connected and Autonomous Mobility Scale-Up Programme.
BlackDice is spin-out from GCHQ’s Cyber Accelerator programme, it is an AI-powered cyber security solution that helps telecoms operators create new services, reducing churn and increasing revenue. Features of the software include patented device fingerprinting cyber technology capabilities to prevent device hacking. It also provides threat intelligence, matching existing threats to system vulnerabilities, automatically taking remedial action against compromised apps, devices and websites.
BlackDice protects devices from external threats, sets rules, ﬁlters content, and much more to create an all-around safer environment over WiFi networks and mobile data, any network, anywhere. Its proprietary can be used with any router/gateway, using minimal resources, connecting to cloud services providing 24/7 protection to any network, anywhere. BlackDice gained £500,000 of equity seed funding from the Development Bank of Wales and a number of private investors in October 2019.
Darkbeam’s solutions, built on its own proprietary persistent crawler, allow users to weigh up security risks and standards for not just their own assets, but those of any digitally connected partners. This delivers real-time “hacker’s eye” visibility of any potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited, together with any surface data breaches or stolen credentials. Darkbeam’s solutions don’t involve long and intricate implementation and can be used through a regular browser. In February 2019, it raised $9 million in Seed, Series A and venture debt funding.
Malicious data breaches are often caused by stolen or compromised credentials. Keyless gives companies the ability to manage the risks that come with the storage of sensitive information, such as passwords, biometric data and crypto keys. Keyless’s zero-knowledge biometric authentication software uses cryptographic technology to address these concerns and provide businesses with peace of mind that the data in its care is secure and remains private. Keyless’ total funds raised by August 2020 included a total of $6.2 million, which includes a $2.5 million pre-seed round in 2019, and $1.5 million secured in government-backed start-up loan schemes, such as Italy’s Smart & Start Italy program.
Lacework, is a San Hose, California based unified cloud security platform that provides clear cloud management visibility, automates intrusion detection. It also delivers one-click investigation, and simplifies cloud compliance across AWS, Azure, and GCP, providing a comprehensive view of risks across cloud workloads and containers. It raised a $525 million round at a valuation of more than $1 billion in January 2021.
Ledger is a French based digital asset security provider, launched in 2014 by eight experts with complementary backgrounds in embedded security, cryptocurrencies and entrepreneurship, united around the idea of creating secure solutions for blockchain applications. It raised a $380 million Series C in June.
Nanotego delivers self-aware, autonomous cyber security defence capabilities to billions of attackable devices. Its solution offers a uniquely effective approach to cybersecurity by establishing “situational self-awareness” for each computing node. By monitoring deep layer data streams from device components, system and application processes, anomalous behaviour is identified. This gives each device the ability to fend for itself by autonomously launching countermeasures in near real time without relying on connectivity, virus signatures or human interaction. Nanotego joined Lorca’s Fifth Cyber Accelerator.
Delivering secure messaging and protection for stored data, Pryvate addresses the threat of criminals who pose an ever-present threat to a safe and properly functioning internet.
Since 2013, the company has joined individuals, organizations and NGOs in their work to provide secure communications platforms. The company has no access to any of its users’ encryption keys, there is no “man in the middle”, making it impossible to leak, hack, collaborate or give away keys. All communications are device-to-device and it is the Pryvate app on your device that encrypts your voice, video or text, and the Pryvate app on the recipient’s device that encrypts theirs. No records exist of any communications and the encryption key is discarded. In addition to the app, Pryvate provides an SME and enterprise version of its software providing a range of services including privacy compliance, closed user groups and audit logs.
Threat Essentials is a new threat intelligence platform designed to turn cyber security into a strategic risk management tool and business asset.
Their mission is to predict, prevent and combat malicious activity and emerging cyber threats before they first surface. They do this by monitoring and analysing activity on the deep dark web, watching how threat actors behave. Threat Essentials want organisations to proactively manage their cyber security threats and minimise risk so they can reach their full business potential.
Transmit Security is an Israel-based password-less authentication company founded in 2014 with the aim of changing the identity security space. It delivers user-centric app based passwordless solutions to large and small businesses. It raised a $543 million Series A at a $2.3 billion pre-money valuation in June 2022.
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