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RSA cybersecurity conference

John LaCour's takeaways

Pivotas AG focuses on key industry segments where we have deep expertise and relationships that enable us to help companies achieve their strategic goals such as raising capital, mergers, acquisitions, or restructuring. Cybersecurity has been one of those key verticals since the beginning. Recently, John LaCour, Pivotas AG partner and chair of our cybersecurity advisory board, attended the annual RSA Cybersecurity Conference in San Francisco. The following are some of his observations on the cybersecurity industry based on his discussions with vendors, investors, and cybersecurity practitioners.

This year, there were approximately 375 vendors formally exhibiting at the conference – slightly down from last year. However, as always, there are many vendors that make the pilgrimage to the Bay Area to meet with customers, partners, and investors. We always try to have a healthy mix of walking the show floor and meeting others outside of the Moscone Center to get a true sense of what is going on in the market. This year we noticed a handful of trends.

No surprise, AI is everywhere. Not only is virtually every cybersecurity company touting how they are leveraging AI to make their products better but there are also a handful of start-ups focused on protecting against AI threats. Companies like Reality Defender are detecting deep fakes. Knostic is providing granular access controls to AI LLMs used by enterprises. The AI wave is in everything and everywhere and will truly be transformational, but also creates new types of threats.

Zero Trust is still here. The hype of Zero Trust may have peaked a year or two ago at RSA, but there are still lots of companies talking about how their solutions help companies implement Zero Trust models. Cord3 has created a data-centric security solution that provides encryption and granular access controls to specific data – reducing the risk of threats from trusted users – both bad insiders and compromised users. While Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions have matured for the enterprise, we’re now seeing them mature for the cloud. That means granular controls can be set up for cloud resources within multiple cloud providers and cloud deployments.

The last big trend of note that we saw was broad platforms for cybersecurity. For as long as there has been a modern cybersecurity product ecosystem, there has been a debate about whether it makes sense to deploy best-of-breed solutions from multiple vendors or a broader holistic solution from a single vendor. The argument is that best-of-breed is, well, better, but adds more overhead as the solutions don’t work with each other and there are likely different skill setsneeded to manage each of them. Platform solutions that solve multiple cybersecurity needs can reduce this overhead and cost of ownership. However, they may not be the absolute best out there at their core function. It seems like the pendulum is swinging toward the platform these days. We met with Fortra who were demonstrating their new management platform that covers most of their core cybersecurity solutions.

After visiting RSA, it is apparent that the cybersecurity industry is alive and well. Threats never go away they just evolve. Investors continue to look for top companies in the space and growing companies need capital to build on their success. Pivotas AG is excited about the opportunity this creates for both investors and entrepreneurs, and we look forward to playing a role that helps bring innovative cybersecurity solutions to those who need them.