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Nearly two-thirds (63%) of security leaders responded to the events of 2020 — a year bookended by the pandemic and the SolarWinds cyberattack — by increasing budgets to fortify their organizations against security threats, with 45% of those nearly doubling spend. This data points to a larger theme of Scale Venture Partners’ sixth annual Cybersecurity Perspectives report, a survey of 300 US-based enterprise security decision-makers done in March: Security departments have more resources and visibility inside their organizations than ever before.

2021 Cybersecurity Perspectives

Above: Scale Cybersecurity Partners asked enterprises what kind of security technologies they were buying — or building — in 2021 in the 2021 Cybersecurity Perspectives

Image Credit: Scale Cybersecurity Perspectives

This is good news for cybersecurity startups, which attracted a record $7.8 billion investment in 2020. Security’s growing influence and buying power coincides with data showing enterprises are needing to build multiple security tools in several areas. Half (51%) of respondents built in-house tools in the past year because they couldn’t find what they needed in the market. Network security (35%), operation technology (28%), data privacy (25%) and security automation technology (23%) topped the list of homegrown solutions.

When this data is viewed against security investment priorities for 2021, it’s clear that areas like next-gen data privacy and automation technology deserve a closer look by startups.

Data privacy remains top of mind for security leaders as shown by its rapid ascent up the list of investment priorities from fifth in 2020 to second this year. While GDPR and CCPA have been in place for a while, enforcement has lagged, giving the industry time to understand compliance requirements and available solutions.


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Security automation technology shows promise. While its climb up the list of investment priorities has been gradual, the growing challenge of “tool sprawl” — the rapid proliferation of security point solutions, platforms, and services deployed inside the enterprise — and the headcount needed to operate this expanding arsenal points to the need for a more integrated, automated future for security.

Read the full Cybersecurity Perspectives from Scale Venture Partners.

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