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Periodic Table of Cybersecurity Startups

Mar 23, 2017

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Last year, cybersecurity funding deals reached a record high, with Q3’16 emerging as the most active quarter for deals to cybersecurity companies in the last five years.

Increasingly hot categories in cybersecurity include companies that are tackling multi-factor authentication within the identity and access management space, and cyber-insurance, among others. Additionally companies that offer artificial intelligence solutions are getting acquired by tech giants in 2017. Currently there are eight cybersecurity unicorn companies each valued at $1B+.

We put together a periodic table of cybersecurity that spotlights the top startups, industry categories, investors, and top exits since 2012. Public companies are excluded from the table. The unicorn company Okta, recently filed for IPO and it is also excluded.

The table is meant to serve as a guide to navigate the key players in the space. The companies and investors in the table were chosen using CB Insights data and analytics on company momentum, financial health, and investor quality. The categories in our table are not all mutually exclusive. Below is the full periodic table of cybersecurity.


In this research briefing we’ll examine cybersecurity vulnerabilities and best practices for the enterprise and industrials.

Click on the image below to enlarge. This periodic table is not meant to be exhaustive of companies in this space. 

Periodic table of cybersecurity image 2


The table’s top section lists notable cybersecurity startups, while the bottom two rows show top investors in cybersecurity and notable exits. We broke down our list of cybersecurity startups into 10 categories:

Secure Communications: Startups in this category include quantum encryption startups like Post-Quantum, as well as email security startups like Virtru, and secure communications platforms such as Wickr.

Predictive Intelligence: These startups include the unicorn company Cylance, and other companies that parse various data feeds about broad cyber activity as well as behavioral data inside an organization’s network to come up with actionable information to help analysts predict and thwart impending attacks.

Deception Security: Startups offering cybersecurity systems that deploy decoy-assets in a network as bait for attackers, to identify, track, and disrupt security threats such as advanced automated malware attacks before they do damage. Companies in this category include TrapX and illusive networks, among others.

Autonomous Systems: Startups such as Sift Science and Phantom offer software that utilizes advanced algorithms to efficiently and instantaneously respond to security threats, often augmenting the work of security analysts.

IoT / IIoT Security: Startups in this category such as Rubicon Labs and CyberX offer products and services to authenticate IoT devices and encrypt data transmitted throughout IoT systems and IIoT networks. This category also includes companies like Argus Cyber Security which aims to protect autonomous and connected vehicles from malicious cyber attacks.

Mobile Security: These startups include Zimperium and Appthority that can help ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the information that a mobile device accesses, stores, and processes. Unicorn companies in this category include Lookout and Avast Software.

Cyber Insurance: This category includes companies like RedSeal Networks and Cyencethat offer products and services for insurance companies to better quantify cyber risk and negotiate premiums.

Identity & Access Management: Companies like OneLogin have a core product that determines a user’s identity by authenticating their credentials and authorizing them for appropriate access to digital resources.

Network & Endpoint Security: This category has the most unicorn companies in our periodic table and includes startups like Tanium, which specializes in protecting an enterprise’s computer networks from vulnerabilities that arise as a result of remotely connecting users’ laptops, tablets, and other internet-connected devices. Other unicorns in this category include: CloudflareIllumio, and Zscaler.

Anti-Fraud Security: Companies in this category are similar to ThreatMetrix which helps companies stop web fraud especially in online financial transactions.

If you think an investor or company should be added, please leave a comment below.

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