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Fast-Growing Cybersecurity Firm Norse Corp. Goes Looking for Trouble

By May 18, 2015Article

San Mateo-based cybersecurity firm Norse Corp. says they wander the worst neighborhoods on the Internet, looking for trouble, just asking to be attacked. That’s how they’ve built what they claim to be the biggest dedicated (cyber) threat-detection network in the world and populated it with millions of honeypots, agents, sensors and crawlers.  

Norse’s customers are CISOs (Chief Information Security Officers) and IT security practitioners who are responsible for defending and protecting corporations and government agencies of all sizes globally. The value proposition from Norse is simple: Block attacks before they target your network, and dramatically improve the ROI on your entire security infrastructure. 

Cybersecurity is big business, and Norse is cashing in by focusing on the multi-billion dollar threat-detection space.

Norse currently employs 85 people, and they anticipate growing to 115 people by the end of 2015, according to co-founder and CEO Sam Glines. The privately held company does not release revenue figures; but Glines says Norse expects to triple bookings in 2015, and their TTM (trailing 12 months’ revenue) grew by 330 percent. 

Most cybersecurity companies hype their technology – and in the tech industry who doesn’t? But Norse seems to know a thing or two about how to engage and build high-touch relationships with the CISO audience they target. 

“All too often, security vendors seem to forget that this is a trust-based industry,” says John Masserini, chief information security officer for the MIAX Options Exchange (a wholly owned subsidiary of Miami International Holdings, Inc. (MIH). MIAX is an automated electronic options exchange for the trading of OCC-issued standardized options on equities and ETFs. 

“You can promise to solve my problems – and I may even give you the chance to try – if I trust you’re being honest. The primary reason I began working with Norse is because they have been up front and honest since the beginning. They explained what the solution could, and as importantly, could not do. They provided product roadmaps and understood the meaning behind committing to feature dates. The entire team understood the value of living up to promises and deadlines,” adds Masserini, who is responsible for information security, physical security, business continuity and privacy for MIAX. 

“Another key decision point was their willingness to listen to their customers’ feedback and understand the challenges they faced. Again, in today’s startup-crazy security space, all too often, vendors have a great solution to solve a specific problem but fail to understand the operational impact of what they are selling. The Norse team listened, and in fact, visited several times to ensure they saw the operational challenges firsthand. To me, this is the difference between a partner and a vendor, and Norse certainly has been a valued partner,” says Masserini, who was previously the CISO for Dow Jones, overseeing security and risk management for all of the Dow Jones and Wall Street Journal brands for over six years. 

Threat-detection vendors dot the Cybersecurity 500 list of the world’s hottest and most innovative cybersecurity companies. In addition to Norse, some of the startups and emerging players to watch in this burgeoning market include:

  • AlienVault (San Mateo, Calif.)
  • Business Risk Intelligence (BRI) (Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany)
  • Caspida (Palo Alto, Calif.)
  • CounterTack (Waltham, Mass.)
  • CyberArk (Petach-Tikva, Israel)
  • IKANOW (Reston Va.)
  • Lookingglass (Arlington, Va.)
  • Ziften (Austin, Texas) 

The bigger brands that provide threat-detection solutions as well as more comprehensive security products and services include:

  • Cisco (San Jose, Calif.)
  • Checkpoint Software (Tel-Aviv, Israel)
  • FireEye (Milpitas, Calif.)
  • IBM (Armonk, N.Y.)
  • Palo Alto Networks (Santa Clara, Calif.) 

To see the entire Cybersecurity 500 and more threat-detection and protection vendors, go to:

Companies across all industries worldwide reported a total of 42.8 million detected attacks in 2014, according to the PwC Global State of Information Security Survey 2015. That’s a 48 percent increase in incidents since the prior year. 

As cyberattacks trend up in 2015 and 2016, the threat-detection space should see new entrants, more vendors providing live cybermaps of threat activity, M&As, investment and IPO activity. As cybercrime continues to rise, so does the market opportunity for cybersecurity solutions. 

Steve Morgan is founder and CEO at Cybersecurity Ventures and editor-in-chief of the Cybersecurity Market Report and the Cybersecurity 500 list of the world’s hottest and most innovative cybersecurity companies. Follow Steve on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.










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