As we look back at 2020 and forward to the future, the ShardSecure team is fortunate to have marked critical milestones such as completing an over-subscribed seed round and working with some of today’s most recognizable technology brands as customers in this turbulent year. Our team is grateful to have established solid footing in an extraordinary 2020, and excited about the future of cybersecurity as organizations strive to achieve true data privacy, security and compliance.
With the prevalence of cybersecurity events and accelerated cloud adoption as catalysts, our team anticipates the next year to kick off a transformative next few years for the data security industry. Below, we’ve outlined some of our major cybersecurity predictions for 2021:
Cybersecurity in 2021
- Ransomware aims for the cloud: cloud storage will be a likely target for ransomware campaigns, with data left vulnerable through misconfiguration and lacking or inadequate encryption
- Code emerges as the most targeted data: code will be the “crown jewels” for organizations and cyber-attackers, and new regulations may be enacted to levy major fines against companies that do not properly secure their code. Developers, especially those operating in the cloud, will likely be high value targets for sophisticated hackers
- Cybersecurity sees an influx of “insider threats”: in increasing numbers, individuals within organizations may have no choice but to cooperate with organized crime/nation-state hackers via extortion or for their own financially-motivated or socio-political reasons
- Enterprises accelerate migration to cloud by 150-200%: a direct result of the move to remote workers because of COVID, organizations will continue moving to the cloud for its flexibility in managing enterprise applications and remote workers. The associated risks, such as the rise in ransomware attack predicted above, will be well-felt by those who don’t take extra measures to secure data
- We will see multiple high-profile attacks, including from nation-states, aimed at cloud platforms, despite the significant progress we see from major cloud providers in fortifying cloud infrastructure
Reflecting on an Extraordinary 2020
ShardSecure started 2020 by achieving a key goal for many startups – completing what would end up being an over-subscribed seed funding round in Q1. We’re thrilled to have investors like SineWave Ventures, Tom Noonan. Industrifonden, 500 Startups and others support our mission to ensuring zero data sensitivity and total privacy for our customers.
The ShardSecure team is also proud to have esteemed cybersecurity industry analysts, publications and thought leaders recognize the value of our Microshard™ technology and eliminating data sensitivity in the age of cloud computing. In 2020, ShardSecure was named a “Company to Watch” in the 2020 SINET 16 Awards, a “Distinguished Vendor” by TAG Cyber and has been recognized by leading market research firms including Forrester and 451 Research for its innovative approach to ensuring data privacy.
Q1 of 2020 also saw seasoned cyber security sales leader and growth expert, Robert Stephen, join ShardSecure as VP, Strategic Sales. Robert Stephen has played a key role in the growth of industry-leading cybersecurity organizations such as Cylance, acquired by BlackBerry for $1.4B in February 2019, and SentinelOne, the endpoint security leader that has raised $430 million to date and has a valuation of over $3B.
Robert joined ShardSecure in early March just as the U.S. entered mandatory lockdowns, and along with the rest of the team, took exceptional circumstances in stride and helped deliver ShardSecure to paying customers in 2020 mere months after closing our seed funding round. The team also successfully negotiated resale contracts with resellers including D.C. Consulting and Red River.
Another highlight for the ShardSecure team was presenting at AGC and attending RSA, which industry personnel know as major cybersecurity industry conferences. Despite a pause on in-person events by the end of Q1, the ShardSecure team was able to catch up with peers and leading industry outlets including interviews with TAG Cyber on augmenting legacy encryption-only cloud data security solutions for the cloud and the importance of eliminating data sensitivity to achieve true data privacy. ShardSecure CEO Bob Lam also caught up with the Global Cyber Center to discuss the importance of MIcroshard™ technology in today’s data security landscape.
While 2020 had no shortage of news headlines, cybersecurity was in the spotlight for a number of reasons, many of which related to the security implications of a near-overnight shift to virtual work and communication practices. The swift change yielded ample new opportunities for security vulnerabilities, and as hacks and other data security events can often take six months or more to be revealed, news of data theft or exposure will continue to permeate news cycles over the next year.
Other COVID-19-related cybersecurity news centered around the sensitivity of vaccine and broader healthcare data. Arguably some of the most valuable data in the world in 2020, the sensitivity of vaccine data made it a target for hackers, and cybersecurity events related to its theft or exposure were well documented. As ShardSecure makes these types of attacks impossible by first eliminating the sensitivity of data itself through Microsharding™, polluting, then distributing data to multiple locations to drastically reduce the attack surface, we had hundreds of conversations with customers about how we can prevent their organizations from being targeted for their sensitive data.
Non-COVID cybersecurity news still managed to steal a few headlines in 2020, especially those regarding data privacy topics with international stakeholders such as the Privacy Shield Framework. Privacy Shield has been a touchstone of the international data governance conversation following its rejection by the EU’s highest ruling body, the Court of Justice, in July of 2020. The CJEU ruled that the framework favored US national security, public interest and law enforcement to the detriment of the third parties whose data was transferred to the US. The governance of sensitive data will certainly be a focus of the upcoming year as well, and organizations who take steps to actively eliminate the sensitivity of their data will position themselves well to navigate a shifting security landscape.
In all, the ShardSecure team is grateful for an eventful year professionally. We have been so impressed by the agility, tenacity and resilience of our customers, peers and team members. With all we’ve collectively learned in 2020, we’re looking forward to embracing all 2021 has to offer and to continuing our mission to make sensitive data exposure a headline of the past through Microsharding. We thank our employees, customers, investors, advisors and all stakeholders in this unusual year, and wish everyone and their families a Happy and Healthy 2021!