2018 happened to have finished strong in a variety of ways. Strategic Cyber Ventures – a cybersecurity-focused investment firm, has released a new data which reports that more than USD 5.3 Bn was invested into network-protecting companies last year, including those that secure systems and data across the world.
The firm, which has USD 100 Mn investments and four cybersecurity companies in its portfolio, revealed that despite the fewer deals last year, cyber investments went up from 20 percent – USD 4.4 Bn – from 2017, which is up from nearly a double of what the numbers were in 2016.
Per the company’s position, part of the reason for this improvement was several “mega funding rounds”, as eight big companies got bigger in 2018, raking a total of USD 1.3 Bn in funding. Tanium’s combined USD 375 Mn, Anchorfree’s USD 295 Mn and CrowdStrike’s USD 200 Mn are included in this assertion.
The report showed that North America took the lion share of the funds, with USD 4 Bn in VC investments, while Europe and Asia cinched around USD 550 Mn each. The data, in, fact showed that California, HQ to a majority of the big cyber companies, accounts for almost half of 2018’s VC funding in cybersecurity. Based on the comparison, only about USD 300 Mn was funnelled into the government region, including Washington, DC, Maryland, and Maryland where a sea of government-backed companies sit.
What’s Up With Africa?
As part and result of the British Prime Minister’s maiden visit to Kenya, she announced in Nairobi on August 31st, 2018 that the United Kingdom would be investing in the East African countries’ cybersecurity space. Theresa May made clear the intentions of the British government to build a new cyber centre which will be preventing British paedophiles from abusing children from Kenya.
While speaking about the centre, the British Premier said that online child exploitation is abhorrent, and cited U.K’s determination to ensure there’s no hiding place for predators who use the web to share abuse-related pictures across borders, “too often with impunity”.
Given Techcrunch’s recent position that Microsoft Bing has a child porn problem which helps paedophiles litter search engines with disturbing content, the U.K government trailed great to build a partnership with Kenya on security and criminal justice. As May revealed that the partnership has already facilitated the conviction and imprisonment of terrorists in the United Kingdom, hopes were quite high that the new cyber centre will enable Kenya access data on tech-firm provided abuse cases to help bring offenders under the grasp of the law’s mighty arm.
Cyber Crime: Serious Crime
Security being the underlying theme of May’s visit to not just Nairobi, but Lagos and Cape Town somehow gives credence to the fact that cybercrime is becoming a great concern. Sometime in November 2018, Tumblr’s app was given the boot from the iOS App Store for reasons tied to an issue with child pornography getting its way past the app’s filtering technology. Tumblr confirmed this accusation, and quickly disappeared from the store, after which the company issued a statement to notify that it was working to resolve the problem.
If the report that Whatsapp Groups are being used as mediums to peddle illicit images of adolescents and teenagers is true, then the billion-dollar investments in 2018 in cybersecurity firms are quite worth it. A WeeTracker article cited that an Australian kid hacked into Apple’s database and explored to-be-launched products – a move which the 16-year-old claimed to be out of love and fascination for the tech giant’s strides. The teenager reportedly retrieved more than 90 GB of private information over year, having managed to bypass Apple’s security protocols. While he revealed his dreams of working with Apple someday as the motivator for the hack, the incident yet places a premium on the safety of the internet.
Featured Image: CIO