There’s been no better magic word than “cybersecurity” to crack open technology investors’ wallets.
Corporate executives feared their companies could be the next victim of embarrassing digital incursions like the ones at Target, Sony and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, so they earmarked big budgets for technology defenses. The rising tide of cyberattacks lifted all the companies selling cyber life preservers.
But now the cybersecurity industry has reached a critical crossroads. The industry’s relative newcomers such as FireEye and Bromium are under pressure to prove they can be lasting winners or sell out as the fragmented industry gives way to consolidation. Members of the computer security old guard including Symantec, meanwhile, are scrambling to remake themselves and reduce reliance on technologies like antivirus software that are out of step with modern hacking threats.