Cybersecurity PR activity has picked up tremendously given the omnipresent threats to our homes, government, businesses and general day-to-day life. With emerging technology and remote work settings, cybersecurity is used in everybody’s daily lives whether you’re aware of it or not. Recognizing the methods of large powers in data security and the funds and partnerships they’re receiving to protect your information is an asset to understanding where your loyalties should lie when subscribing to these services through your own devices.
Below are recent pieces of cybersecurity PR activity thus far through 2023, as well as trends to look out for:
Recently, Wiz secured $300M in the latest funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners (Menlo Park-based VC firm that also backed tech giants like Snapchat and recently Remedial Health). Further, existing investors Greenoaks Capital Partners and Index Ventures also participated in the round. The recent funding round values the company at $10B, making Wiz the world’s largest cybersecurity unicorn and the fastest SaaS company to achieve a $10B valuation. The recent funding round values the company at $10B, making Wiz the world’s largest cybersecurity unicorn and the fastest SaaS company to achieve a $10B valuation.
The company plans to add an additional headcount to its existing 650 employees in the US and globally and open three new US offices in Austin, Dallas, and Washington, DC. The funds will also support the continued global expansion in EMEA and APAC. To date, the company has raised $900 million from investors, including Sequoia Capital, Insight Partners, Blackstone, and G Squared.
Cybersecurity companies raised money across more than 1,000 deals last year, but the total investment dropped by 39% compared to 2021, when companies raised a record-breaking $30.4 billion. Still, the total raised in 2022 exceeds any other year — it represents an increase of nearly 50% compared to 2020. Security startups have raised roughly $79 billion across more than 4,200 deals since 2018, according to Momentum Cyber. In 2022, there were 95 instances of companies raising more than $50 million and over 15 new cybersecurity unicorns were announced.
Momentum’s analysis of the exits announced between Q1 2021 and Q4 2022 showed 38 companies with a deal value ranging between $50 million and $250 million, with a median age of 7 years and medium funding of $23 million. As for a deal value exceeding $250 million, there were 25 companies, with a median age of 10 years and $62 million in funding. More than 40% of the cybersecurity exits were companies that received early stage funding. There were 64 firms with Series A and Series B funding (median funding of $52 million) and the same number of companies with Series C funding (median funding of $180 million).
In short, expect many more cybersecurity PR stories like this one.
IBM’s Cyber Security Intelligence Index Report carried out in 2021, found that “human error was a major contributing cause in 95% of all breaches.” Allowing data collection and analysis to be carried out by AI enables companies to reallocate security personnel to tasks that require highly skilled human intervention.
Whether you use human personnel or AI, this process of sorting through data inevitably leads to false positives. But without AI, an even greater amount of manpower is required to investigate and eliminate them. Your resources can be far more effectively deployed when AI can help take the pressure off.
Cybersecurity continues to be a major area for investment among businesses, and today a startup building solutions for smaller enterprises is announcing a funding round to meet that demand. CyberSmart — a U.K. startup that has built an all-in-one platform providing cybersecurity technology for small and medium businesses, and cyber insurance if things go wrong regardless — has closed a Series B of £12.75 million ($15.4 million).
CyberSmart currently has 4,000 customers in the U.K., with 1,800 of them also taking the company’s insurance policies as well — the tip of the iceberg in a market with 5.5 million small and medium enterprises (SMBs) overall — but Jamie Akhtar, the co-founder and CEO, said there is a lot of interest out there and it’s about meeting that demand right now, so the plan is to use the funding to continue developing its product, to potentially make some acquisitions, and to expand its channel partners, and customers, in its home market as well as further afield in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Galway-based cybersecurity firm Siren has secured €12m in funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The company said the investment will be used to further support the development of the Siren platform at its new global R&D center in Galway and to increase headcount by 50% over the next two years. In the last year, the firm reported 162% revenue growth and established a new headquarters in the Galway Innovation District.
The company also provides an advanced intelligence platform to law enforcement agencies allowing investigators to make complex searches, organize the results visually and create advanced reports to share findings with their teams.
The sale of the cybersecurity business would add to a string of divestments AT&T has turned to in order to pay down debt following its $108.7 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc in 2018, a deal it has since also unwound. In the last two years, AT&T sold a 30% stake in its pay-TV unit DirecTV to private equity firm TPG for $1.8 billion and received $40.4 billion in cash by spinning off and merging its Warner Media business with Discovery Communications to form Warner Bros Discovery Inc (WBD.O).
AT&T has been working with Barclays Plc (BARC.L) to solicit potential bids for its cybersecurity business, which was called Alienvault when it was acquired in 2018 in a roughly $600 million deal, the sources said. It is not clear how much the business could fetch now.
According to early reporting on the strategy document making the rounds in Washington, the Biden administration is mulling over the final details of a 35-page National Cybersecurity Strategy that will use regulation to “level the playing field” in national security.
The strategy document goes deeper, assigning the work to the FBI’s National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force working in tandem with all relevant U.S. agencies. It said private companies will be “full partners” to issue early warnings and help repel cyberattacks.
A recent Software Advice survey of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) found that more than half of respondents (55%) adopted IT architecture and security software in 2022, a nine percent increase over the previous year.* This trend highlights the vital role that security software plays in protecting businesses from various security threats, such as ransomware and phishing attacks, which have become more prevalent in the age of hybrid work.
An increased focus on cybersecurity PR has a significant impact on professionals in various industries. For example, financial services businesses must follow stringent regulations regarding data privacy. Advanced security software can make this process simpler and help the organization protect customer information in various ways. Cloud security software can keep data stored in the cloud safe, and container security software and website security software can prevent cyberattacks on relevant applications.
Increasing security threats, hybrid working, uneven economic outlooks, geopolitical conflicts, and ever-increasing regulatory compliance mandates have all put untold strain on the financial services industry in recent years. While organizations in this sector are typically ahead of other industries in cyber defense maturity due to their highly regulated nature, they continue to be considered high-value targets by cyber criminals and nation-state attackers.
Looking for a cybersecurity PR firm?
FischTank PR has provided cybersecurity PR services to companies with products spanning B2B/B2C hardware, software, disinformation technology, grid-edge utility services and so many others. Our cybersecurity PR chops enable us to engage reporters in a meaningful way, convey our client’s technologies and value propositions, and drive impactful press coverage . Please contact us at [email protected] to learn more.
*Article written by intern Tessa Meehan*