It was a busy year for the cybersecurity world, as phishing attempts between January and November of 2022 rose 61% year-over-year and reached upwards of 225 million reported attacks.
As phishing attempts grew in both volume and complexity, more startups emerged to tackle cyber-related problems for businesses and individual users alike. In fact, 25 newly cybersecurity-focused startups were founded in the Southeast this year alone, while 37 companies of various sizes raised over $731 million in combined venture funding, according to available Crunchbase data.
So, which startups made the biggest headlines this year? Here’s the list of most-read Hypepotamus stories in the cyber world this year:
- North Carolina’s JupiterOne reaches unicorn status
- North Carolina Edison Marks provides a cybersecurity readiness score
- Cybersecurity training platform Curricula was acquired for $22 million
- Engage portfolio company otto wants to make cybersecurity more user friendly
- South Carolina-based Hook Security uses psychological security as a way to teach critical cybersecurity issues
What To Watch Next: Southeast Security Edition
Cyber is a unique startup vertical to watch because it impacts just about everything we do in both our professional and our personal lives.
“We have to be perfect 100% of the time,” says Jon Powell, an Atlanta-based partner at the accounting and advisory firm Moore Colson. “And who’s perfect?”
As the sheer volume of scam attempts increases, it is getting easier for people to slip up.
“[Bad actors] are using different pages out of the same book,” he told Hypepotamus. “People are the weakest link and the “bad guys” or the threat actors work on more complex ways to get you to click on things or to do things you shouldn’t do online.”
As the security scene continues to evolve, we asked investors in the Southeast region to give us some thoughts on which startups we should keep our eyes on in 2023. These are the top 5 that they say should be on your radar:
- BlackCloak – Orlando, FL: BlackCloak is a cybersecurity and privacy protection platform that mitigates online privacy risks and provides personal device protection. The startup raised its Series A in 2021. Why is it interesting? Well, in a remote-first world, many of us are doing important work across multiple devices. And leaves us open to more cyber threats.
- FortifyData – Kennesaw, Georgia: Founded in 2015, FortifyData is a cyber risk management platform that helps identity and monitor online risks. Its seed round in January of 2022 attracted investors from Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida. Why FortifyData? Companies of all sizes will keep looking for ways to cut costs and automate processes as we head into 2023. But relying on more third parties could put more aspects of a business open to more risk, making this startup’s platform necessary.
- SaaS Alerts – Wilmington, North Carolina: Cloud security is a growing concern for companies, particularly as they rely on more third parties to store and process their customer’s data. Saas Alerts helps MSPs (managed service providers) protect and monetize customer SaaS applications. The startup raised a $22 million venture round this fall.
- Ironscales – Atlanta, Georgia: After raising a $64 million Series C at the very end of 2021, Ironscales has been busy adding to its c-suite headcount and helping detect major online threats for the FBI. The startup, founded in Israel, is an email security solution focused on stopping phishing attacks.
- Lumu – Miami, Florida: Lumu’s product looks to help companies identify cyber risks in real-time. That can help keep remote work forces safe and combat “alert fatigue” for those working across a company’s network