The Cybersecurity Ecosystem Is Ripe and Striving

In the past 18 months, news has broken about several data security breaches that impacted thousands of people, caused embarrassment to many corporations, and resulted in both financial and privacy loss. Even celebrities have suffered public humiliation when their personal information was hacked and leaked to the public. While this is horrible news to all of those impacted, the result is that individuals and businesses are now more willing than ever to invest in cybersecurity. This makes the cybersecurity ecosystem a near perfect environment for enterprising, startup founders. Keep reading to learn more about cybersecurity trends and innovations, a few cool startups, and some challenges that people moving into this space might face.

Cybersecurity Innovations

Check out these cybersecurity innovations. Many startups might be able to find their niche mastering one of these technologies.


This is a search engine, developed by DARPA, that has the potential to allow companies to access the dark web to see if they have data that has been stolen and is for sale. Companies will be able to perform searches on a regular basis, and take action before sensitive information is sold to the highest bidder.


This is a software package that the Department of Homeland Security has developed and is now in the process of commercializing. It allows security analysts to run malware on a virtual machine so that they can record what it does and find ways to outsmart it.

Behavior Analytics

In only a few hours, Edward Snowden was able to obtain super root permissions and download over one million files. He did this, because the system he accessed did not recognize his unusual  behavior as being in any way nefarious. With behavior analytics, security systems can now detect unusual behavior and take the needed action to protect data.

Trending Cyber Security Startups

Here are a few startups to watch over the next few months.


Cymmetria is a tool that creates decoys for hackers and malware. It routes them away from intended targets into controlled environments where signature information can be retrieved and sent to the security systems that are already in place.


Illumio is a company that employs adaptive segmentation to provide data protection for both data centers and cloud based systems. Best of all, IT departments can employ this technology without changing their existing security infrastructure.


SentinelOne is using the behavioral analysis mentioned above along with machine learning to provide proactive data protection for its clients. The result is that attacks are proactively stopped rather than dealt with after the fact.

Upcoming Challenges and Opportunities

Here are some current data security challenges and opportunities that will impact cybersecurity startups.

Internet of Things

Not long ago, it was easy to determine where data was going into and out of a home or business. The Internet of Things has changed all of that. Not only are computers connected to the internet, appliances, home security systems, wearable technologies, and other devices are now potential entry points for malware and data breaches. New technologies will need to be developed to provide protection that was previously unneeded.


Ransomware is malware that targets and takes control of files that are either mission critical or that contain sensitive information. Once the ransomware is executed and files are taken hostage, the victim is then contacted by the hacker who offers to ‘help’ them regain access if they pay a fee. Innovators who can leverage real time security protection and behavioral analysis will find lots of opportunities helping to prevent these attacks.


Phishing is the act of gaining access to data using social engineering as a means of tricking people into handing over the information they need to get in the back door. The methods that hackers are using are becoming more advanced. Because of this, there are emerging opportunities in both cyber security education, and in providing real time protection.

Cyber security is definitely an industry where increasing challenges mean increasing opportunities. Since hackers seem to show no sign of slowing down, that means the cybersecurity ecosystem will continue to be an excellent space for new startups.

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Written by:
Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien
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