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Sept. 21, 2022

A Blog Series from the IQT Cyber Practice

“Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” – John F. Kennedy.

Opinions in the Cybersecurity Industry are inexpensive, plentiful and oftentimes contradictory. With the multitude of personalities, experiences, and the nature of how the Industry has evolved over the last several decades, it’s not entirely surprising that business and government leaders are often left with competing guidance, a sea of seemingly undifferentiated technologies and an alphabet soup of industry jargon. One only needs to fly though Las Vegas during the first week of August during Hacker Summer Camp for an obvious example of this marketing overflow. Marquee data breaches and intrusions hitting the national news only compound the problem. Corporate spend, driven by enlightened c-suites, on cyber capabilities continues unabated up and to the right while Venture Capital flowing into cyber startups ballooned to over $21 billion last year. These dynamics collude to create a whirlwind of biases and opinions across the Industry. In our blog series, the IQT Cyber Practice aims to navigate emerging technology trends offering what we believe to be a differentiated opinion from a unique vantage point.

In-Q-Tel is the not-for-profit created to bridge the gap between the technology needs of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) and emerging commercial innovation.  As a strategic investor focused on national security, we serve as a trusted intermediary between tech founders, venture capitalists, and our government partners. We have been investing in venture backed early-stage tech startups for over 23 years. Our Cyber Practice has been investing in this space for the better part of those years with over 80 investments to date.  This gives us a unique and hopefully calming perspective on where real potential exists in a very frothy cyber market.

As we emerge from the pandemic only to encounter what has seemed to be unrelenting chaos, undoubtedly, the world has changed: Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, hybrid work, and the explosion of ransomware serve as common examples. Many of the challenges regularly discussed in Industry circles that have existed for years just below the surface have now moved fully into the spotlight: the fragility of the supply chain, the reach of critical infrastructure, and how neglected it has become, a near relentless stream of attacks hitting the headlines, and brewing discontent that has spilled across the cyber landscape.

In many respects, how practitioners think about the broader technology ecosystem is shifting.  Transition to multi-cloud, commoditization of the private datacenter, hybrid work, and technology balkanization, to name a few, have and will continue to create waves through the Industry. While many recognized these shifts, it wasn’t until recently that the magnitude of potential change became apparent. It is becoming increasingly obvious that advances across the Industry will be driven by independent thinking, creativity, and a bold reimaging of how we design, deploy and manage critical systems; ultimately leading to a disruption of the status quo. 

In an attempt to rise above the proverbial ‘opinion expo floor’, the IQT Cyber Practice is pleased to offer a range of fresh perspectives on Cyber Innovation through this blog series. Our thoughts and insights form from a unique vantage point – global, early-stage innovation supporting the intelligence and national security community with years of deep and differentiated expertise in the Industry. Our goal is to share thoughtful and provocative perspectives that encourage dialogue and drive the cyber community in a positive direction. We look forward to working with you.

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