IT is often two-faced and never more so than when it comes to the financial health of the industry.
Speak to one set and they’ll tell you how tight it is, scrapping for every penny of profit, and they’re speaking as they see it. At the same time, many of my US-based clients and regular contacts seem to be able to bring in the levels of investment they need, as they need it. And we’re not simply talking the Bay Area here; Austin in deepest Texas is a hotbed of security start-ups these days and a great place it seems to bring the $$$ into it seems. Latest example is JASK (Just ASK) which has just raised another $25m (Series B) to bring total investment to just shy of $40m in not a very long time at all. To put it into perspsective, I’ve got UK clients who – between them – have struggled to raise one tenth of this between them all over 10 years, despite having great tech!
So is the answer for EMEA companies to up sticks and move to the US and go down the .inc route? Well, it has helped in some notable cases – for example, my old client AppDNA – but equally it can prove to be a very expensive wild goose chase. And free-range geese don’t come cheap! No, in many ways it’s still a “who you know” industry, though having good tech does help these days; go back 20 years and that wasn’t even a qualifier. Nowadays there is some level of common sense involved in the investment decisionmaking process. WRT JASK (enough initialisation!) its tech does take a very common sense approach to helping security analysts free up more holiday time -:) If you’ve ever tried to wade through a gazlllion alerts and shedloadbytes of packet captures to find the eNeedle in the eHaystack, then you’ll get the idea behind JASK – i.e. do all that stuff for you – so you can short-cut to the conclusions and remediation.
Related to this concept is another Austin-based company that I am spending some time with currently, and that is Capstar Forensics; we worked out that, not only does its search engine tech take weeks and months of manual search time down to literally a few seconds, but actually makes the impossible, er, possible. And talking still of Austin (told you it’s a hotbed!) I’m literally about to start working on an updated report for client Ziften, focusing on its integration with Microsoft’s Defender tech. Integration is also a key aspect of the JASK approach. Maybe someday there’ll simply be one security product called “Austin, Texas”? You heard it here first…