Modern field guide to security and privacy

Podcast: What it takes to succeed in the cybersecurity business

This episode of the Cybersecurity Podcast features Sunil James, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who invests in information security companies for Bessemer Venture Partners. 

REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
Designers work at computer stations at TechShop in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco, California.

The cybersecurity industry is expected to be worth up to $175 billion globally by 2020, a huge increase from the $75 billion spent to boost digital defenses last year.

But even with all the money going toward shoring up online security, criminals continue to penetrate the most sophisticated security systems to steal valuable data from companies and governments around the world. So how can organizations and individuals protecting themselves? And how do venture capitalists tell the difference between smart digital remedies and snake oil when investing in the next generation of cybersecurity products?

"What we're looking for are ideas that align with the threats," says Sunil James, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who invests in information security companies for Bessemer Venture Partners. "We've seen a lot of tech companies that seem to be hammers looking for nails, and we're looking for things more attuned than that. That starts with showcasing you've done your homework." 

Also on this episode, Sara Sorcher from Passcode discusses her latest feature on hacker kids profiling 15 kids under 15 years old who are hunting software bugs, protecting school networks, and helping to safeguard electrical grids, and Peter W. Singer from New America discusses his latest piece on the Atlantic, about how social media is changing modern warfare.

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Show notes:
15 under 15: Rising stars in cybersecurity, Passcode
War goes viral: How social media is changing modern warfare, The Atlantic

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