Earlier this month, the annual RSA Conference brought together the security industry to showcase new innovations and discuss the latest trends in security and security threats. More than 15,000 industry leaders, investors, cryptographers and security experts attended the show this year. As I reflect back on the conference, there are a number of key themes that stood out, including the latest in cloud security, BYOD (bring your own device) and mobile security. However, the most prevalent trend that always is top of mind is the ongoing fight against cyber threats. I spent a great deal of time at RSA with our portfolio company, FireEye, and talked to experts about the realities of the new breed of cyber attacks, and how these persistent attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated and coordinated each day.
FireEye is experiencing explosive growth in the $20B security market by offering technology solutions that prevent and stop advanced targeted attacks to corporations and governments. The company is innovating where other technologies have fallen short, and I’m proud to be partnering with a team that is making such a significant impact in this space. I invested in FireEye back in November 2005, and it is a great example of the type of organization in which I look to fund as a venture capitalist—a disruptive, differentiated force in a massive and growing industry. Each year corporations spend millions of dollars protecting themselves against fraud and cyber attacks. However, the cybercriminals are increasingly “out innovating” and have found numerous ways to get around the traditional solutions such as firewalls, IPS, gateways and anti-virus. FireEye is unique in its ability to stop this next generation of attack that evades all existing solutions, the Advanced Targeted Attack. FireEye stops them immediately and proactively prevents future threats with its Malware Protection Systems. The growth that FireEye is experiencing is unrivaled, and the company has been recognized with several awards, one of which was granted at RSA. FireEye’s Malware Protection System was the winner of the 2012 Global Excellence Awards in Most Innovation Hardware Security Product of the Year.
FireEye not only stood out at RSA because its solutions are keeping corporations safe from cyber attacks, but it also had a great theatre presentation and even used a clever marketing vehicle to articulate the need for us to collectively pool our capabilities to fight the constant cyber threats that exist in our nation today….Enter “FireEye-Man”, a seven-foot-tall cyber robot that looked like a character straight out of the movie Iron Man. He brought people to the FireEye booth out of curiosity and wandered through the crowd, drawing attention to our booth and making people aware of the fight against cyber crime. When people arrived, they stayed to see the FireEye product presentations, and most of the time, there were crowds 15 people deep to see what companies are doing to fight Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attacks. Customers offered testimonials and discussed how FireEye helped them identify threats they didn’t even know existed and how FireEye enabled them to react quickly and shut down exposed vulnerabilities on the spot. The buzz and leads that the FireEye team accumulated at RSA will keep the team busy for the next several weeks and will also put some pressure on the HR group to fill the positions they currently have available.
Hackers and cyber terrorists are becoming increasingly savvy, and I’m personally excited and proud to have invested in a company that is playing such a significant role in combating cyber espionage. If RSA is any indication of the pace and momentum FireEye is experiencing in the market, I think this will continue to be a great year for the FireEye team. Stay tuned.