November 25, 2019
Last month was National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, but that does not mean we can stop thinking about it now. Quite the opposite. As a private investment management team, we are seeing an increase in valuations and interest in cyber security related tech companies. Some of the recent IPOs have provided for significant returns (Cloudflare, Crowdstrike, zScaler) in a market that is bound to continue to grow and mature. What is the reasoning behind this? Just a few of the major attacks that occurred in the last three months provide some insight:
Cybint estimates that a hacker attack occurs every 39 seconds in the US. Data breaches and cyber attacks are making daily headlines, but the digital threat is not the whole story. The need to guard senior corporate individuals against physical threats is also becoming ever more real worldwide.
How can such digital or other threats be detected and mitigated more effectively? One of the portfolio companies, Echosec, is a leader in making threat intelligence data more extensive and accessible. Echosec software enables businesses to access billions of online posts from social media channels, news feeds and discussion forums for real time analysis and assessment. Importantly, this includes the ability to scour the “dark web” to detect situations that have the potential to be damaging to a company, an individual or a brand. For instance, Echosec software has been used recently to discover sophisticated online schemes for defrauding airline loyalty points, and even for ordering a lifetime of free pizzas from a large global brand.
Cybercriminals use the dark web to discuss attack strategies and sell goods and services targeted at exploiting companies and individuals. The retail industry is a frequent target, through the sharing of shoplifting tips or insights into video surveillance gaps.
Echosec enables businesses to proactively mine the public and not so public web worlds and be alerted to the posting and sharing of specific, harmful content. Machine learning and geofencing technologies allow security teams and analysts to access such data in real time from thousands of different sources, including Telegram, Raddle, Discord and others. As online behaviour evolves and new channels enter the market, Echosec keeps pace and adapts its tools to ensure the threat intelligence they produce stays current and relevant.
To learn more about Echosec, visit echosec.net.
Wesley Clover invests in a range of technology companies, and they bring impressive innovation to markets and clients around the globe. I/O is our way of sharing some of the best insights. I trust you will enjoy them.
Terry Matthews, Chairman