The Silicon Valley Executive Summit at Orange Silicon Valley turned its attention to cybersecurity on June 27 in a conference titled “The Future of Data Security.” The conference spotlighted key ways in which investors, startups, and even diplomats are adapting to a changing landscape for data and information protection.
Cyber threats are evolving as reliance on cloud-based infrastructure increases, according to guests who spoke at the event. Presenters included Patrick Heim, a partner at the cybersecurity-focused venture firm ClearSky; Fortanix CEO Ambuj Kumar; Jens Dalsgaard, a senior policy advisor for the Office of the Danish Tech Ambassador; vArmour CEO Tim Eades; and Jeff Williams, a partner at Bain Capital Ventures.
“You can’t avoid [cybersecurity] anymore,” Heim said. He characterized the current climate for cybersecurity startups as one wherein “The number of acquirers is increasing” with an abundance of “options to exit relatively fast.”
In fact, he sees exits without public offerings as the norm, rather than outliers.
“Going to IPO is an anomaly these days,” Heim stated. He assessed that startups are responding to emerging threats more quickly than large corporations, resulting in an active market for acquisitions.
Specifically, Heim pointed to “vulnerability scanning” as an area that is “ready for disruption.”
Big thanks to @Orange_SV for hosting the #TechPlomacy-team 🌎to give a government perspective on the cybersecurity and cyber policy landscape. Insightful questions from leading experts in the field highly appreciated pic.twitter.com/zGS8gMVHy8— Jens Dalsgaard (@jedalsgaard) June 28, 2019
Other speakers throughout the day related their own experiences adapting to the shifting cybersecurity landscape. Kumar spoke to the challenges of cloud security, while Dalsgaard highlighted the implications of cybersecurity threats for diplomatic missions.
Denmark established its formal tech ambassador offices, which operate out of the U.S., Denmark, and China, following a cyberattack against the Danish shipping giant Maersk in 2017. Dalsgaard asserted that with 10% of Denmark’s gross domestic product tied to Maersk, the country realized that it needed to be proactive in its global efforts to combat cyber threats. Now, Dalsgaard and his colleagues work to stay ahead of emerging threats through diplomacy.
Individual challenges varied across each of the entities represented at the conference — but there was at least one common takeaway. Through M&A, innovation at the startup level, and diplomatic discussions across countries, cybersecurity is a global arena where collaboration and shared resources are necessary to protect valuable assets.