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Cybersecurity crisis prompts analytics and network investment

Analysis: Venture capitalists pump sector with money as interest soars.

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As concerned companies flocked to San Francisco this week for the RSA Conference many will have been wondering how the cybersecurity industry planned to tackle the so-called "mega-breaches" such as the one against Sony last November.

Taking to the stage amid unprecedented demand for their products, many of the executives committed to investing in network visibility and analytics, in a bid to try an reclaim an online world that is eluding the grasp of businesses and governments alike.

Amit Yoran, president of RSA Security, a subsidiary of EMC, said: "The adversaries are outmanoeuvring the industry, they’re outgunning the industry, they’re winning by every single measure.

"We must adopt a deep and pervasive level of visibility everywhere, from the network to the cloud. Within our digital environments we need to know exactly which systems are communicating with which."

He added that the industry was undergoing a change as the perimeter was made redundant by advances in mobile devices, a view that has grown increasingly common throughout the cybersecurity field.

Despite the industry’s failure funding for start-ups has reached record highs, with the research firm PrivCo reporting that the sector had secured more than $1bn (£670m) in the first quarter of 2015.

Scott Charney, CVP of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing division, said the rise of "destructive attacks" such as those carried out by the Stuxnet virus, which destroyed nuclear centrifuges in Iran, had changed the conversation.

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"There is a fundamental shift happening: because of these destructive attacks the market has woken up," he said, adding that the move to mobile and cloud, both outside traditional perimeters, had also shaken up the industry.

Chris Young, SVP and GM of Intel Security, said: "We’ve had over 1,200 new companies created to go after the cybersecurity problem in last five years.

"As an industry we’re on our way to having over $100bn (£67bn) spent on cybersecurity solutions. We’ve got more dollars, more smart people and more important people paying attention to us."

Building on previous releases, Young’s firm will update its range to take account of the interest in data analytics and aid data sharing between firms, a function that US officials have increasingly called for as the cybersecurity crisis deepens.

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