One of the biggest issues in cybersecurity is the lack of qualified talent around the globe. Research from the Cybersecurity Workforce Study by (ISC)2 found that 51% of cybersecurity professionals said their organization is at moderate or extreme risk due to staffing shortages.
Our team at ForgePoint Capital has been monitoring this trend in the cyber market, and have seen a steady uptick in the number of organizations that are looking to managed security service providers (MSSPs) to augment their internal security teams. Though the market is growing, there are few MSSPs that also offer credible managed detection and response (MDR) offerings — a critical need for proactive threat defense.
There is one company, however, that caught our eye for its opportunity to close the gap in the market. That company is Cysiv, a SOC-as-a-Service provider incubated by respected cybersecurity company Trend Micro.
Despite investing heavily in security tools over the past few years, many organizations are overwhelmed by the massive volume of logs and data they must sift through to find the truly suspicious threats that warrant deeper investigation. Their security controls have become alert cannons, generating thousands of alerts per week that fall on the shoulders of understaffed teams to investigate. More often than not, in-house security operation centers (SOCs) lack the technology, breadth of expertise, and time needed to quickly and consistently find and remediate the emerging, evasive, and hidden threats they need to worry about.
The goal of SOC-as-a-Service is to shift a very complex but critical function that is difficult to staff (the SOC) and to provide it as a 24/7 reliable, effective service that operates as an extension of an enterprise’s existing security team. The key to this is automating, accelerating, and improving the process of detecting, investigating, and remediating threats, and of managing critical security controls. Cysiv combines all the elements of a proactive, 24/7 threat hunting SOC with a managed security product stack. A big part of the company’s appeal is they deliver it all as a service, with consumption-based, monthly billing. This means no CapEx, and customers only pay for the services and licenses needed to protect their endpoints, servers and workloads, and networks.
After talking to other MDR and SIEM vendors as well as MSSPs and evaluating the market on the whole, we found that none of them had the robust next-gen SOC platform that Cysiv has been able to build.
“Building successful businesses that are venture-backed is very hard,” said Alberto Yepez, Co-Founder & Managing Director at ForgePoint Capital. “Success is built on a foundation of key markers or factors that we consider very carefully.”
Cysiv meets all five of our markers for success.
1. Market Opportunity: Security as a service is a multi-billion dollar market opportunity. Cysiv deals not only with the cloud native world, but also with legacy technology and solutions. By bringing together both aspects, we have a chance to have the best of both worlds.
2. Differentiated Technology: Because Cysiv was patiently incubated within Trend Micro, one of the top-three leading cybersecurity vendors, and given the necessary time to properly architect and develop a modern, enterprise-grade, cloud native SOC technology platform, they have a strong advantage over the outdated and patchwork set of tools that SOCs and MSSPs have typically had to work with. Their technology brings a high-level of sophistication, grounded in insight from real use cases and the real know-how on how to deal with them. That depth of knowledge is very hard to replicate, and has led to technology differentiated IP.
3. Vendor-agnostic: Their platform is technology- and vendor-agnostic and can ingest security telemetry from virtually any source, along with other important contextual data. This allows them to cast a wider and finer “net,” which in turn improves the quality and confidence of threats detected and shortens the mean time to detect threats that are often hidden, evasive, new, or emerging.
4. Experienced Team: The experience of the Cysiv team was a key differentiator for us. They are proven entrepreneurs who have worked together extensively in the past and who bring a unique set of skills to the table. As we begin working together, members of the executive team at ForgePoint will be able to complement and augment the existing team.
5. Co-Investors: The fact that Trend Micro and Trend Forward Capital are already backing Cysiv is a positive sign. It shows commitment and belief in the services and opportunities they have to offer.
The security talent shortage has certainly created a demand for differentiated services, particularly those that leverage data science to automate processes that have historically been very labor-intensive. And that’s where we see Cysiv playing a big role today, by providing effective, reliable, scalable, consumption-based SOC-as-Service.
Learn more about Cysiv in their press release announcing the close of a $26 million Series A financing led by ForgePoint Capital.