When one thinks of Cyber security companies, the vision of big cities like Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, New York City, etc. come into mind. While yes, it is true that the much larger established firms are in these big cities (obviously because they have big clients), there is yet another area of the United States that should not be discounted for the growth of Cyber security companies. This geographic location is the Midwest, in particular, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana.
We are home to the Big 10 schools, which have some of the finest technological institutions worldwide. For example, after I graduated from Purdue way back when, many years later, the School of Technology founded a superb Biometrics Research and Development facility. To view that, click on this link:
But it is not just these educational institutions that are creating the spark for Cyber security growth, it is the graduates of these as well that are paving the way. Take the case of Duo Security (www.duo.com). This was cofounded by Dug Song and Jonathan Oberheide. Hardly a few years of being business, Cisco Systems plans to buy them out for a whopping for $2.35 Billion.
This company is based out of Ann Arbor, MI, and at the present time, this town is deemed to be one of the strongest growth areas in Cyber security (of course though, you have the University of Michigan here, in which a would be entrepreneur can gain access to tons of resources).
Apart from Duo, there are other several key Cyber security startups that include the likes of Arbor Networks (www.netscout.com), Merit Network (www.merit.edu), NextHop Technologies, and Interlink Networks.
Now of course, don’t forget my stomping grounds of Chi Town. Over here, we also have great innovation happening in the realm of Cybersecurity. One of these is 1871. This is one of the largest coworking spots in the US, and is located in the Merchandise Mart right off the Chicago River. There is much entrepreneurship happening here, as well as the growth of many startups.
Examples of the latest Cyber security startups here include OneSpan (www.onespan.com), Now Secure (www.nowsecure.com), and Anomalix (www.anomalix.com). Believe it or not, I was offered a job at this last company, instead I turned it down for a sales position with a waste water company in Bensenville, Il. One of the biggest mistakes of my life! Then there is also Kenna Security (www.kennasecurity.com), and Keeper Security (www.keepersecurity.com).
But keep in mind also that Illinois is a rather large state, and with that comes a huge asset: Scott Air Force Base, which became host to the country’s largest cybersecurity operations center in 2016. The Cyber Protection Division has fueled a growing demand for cybersecurity talent in the region, especially that in nearby in St. Louis.
In fact, there are already collaborative efforts underway between government officials in both Southern Illinois and St. Louis. The result of this has been the launch of the Midwest Cyber Center (www.midwestcybercenter.org).
The organization provides a range of tools to help foster the growth of St. Louis’ cybersecurity talent pool — all the way from teenagers to experienced professionals looking to enter the industry.
Another fruitful effort has been that of the launch of the SixThirtyCyber (www.sixthirtycyber.com). This organization provides seed funding, programming, and mentorship to cybersecurity startups. While startups can apply from anywhere, accepted startups must participate in the program in St. Louis.
So as you can see with this great list of startups, the Midwest will be the next hotbed of growth for Cyber security. Keep in mind that the field of Cyber security will never die, so as long as the Cyber attacker continues to live on.
It is going to be a vast and complex field for sure, with many intertwining technologies coming together at play in order to layout the next Cyber threat environment. Some of the latest of these technologies includes the likes of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Computer Vision.
My only fear is that with the conglomeration of all of these extravagant Security technologies, the field of Cyber security may become too complex. Well, that this where the role of Cyber space tech communications firms come into play like mine.
We take all of that techno jargon and bring it down to a level that you can understand and apply to your business. There aren’t too many of us out there that do this kind of job, so hopefully one day, my firm will be bought up for $3 Billion. One can only dream.