A small LI firm is booming as the cybersecurity market explodes.
With cybercrime on the increase, the market is expected to grow by 15 percent to 20 percent a year over the next three years.
This year, Northport-based Cybersecurity Ventures, a provider of data and analytics for the industry, has already exceeded that pace with revenues on course to hit $2 million, a roughly 54 percent jump over 2017, says founder Steve Morgan.
Over the past four years the firm has become a leading source of market research for the industry. In 2017 LinkedIn named Morgan one of five cybersecurity influencers to follow.
With future growth in mind, this year the company launched an online publication, Cybercrime Magazine; moved into new corporate offices, and built a production studio to film video presentations by key industry experts.
“The goal is to double our revenues in the next 24 months,” says Morgan, 54, who goes by the title of editor-in-chief.
As the company's data get more attention, including mentions by top government agencies and major news outlets like The New York Times, it has drawn more corporate sponsorships from businesses looking to be featured on its website, cybersecurityventures.com. Sponsors include high-profile players like Herjavec Group, a cybersecurity firm run by "Shark Tank" regular Robert Herjavec.
And the business is only expected to grow as the industry grows, fueled by the increase in cybercrime that has touched not only large businesses and organizations, but everyday individuals.
“Cybercrime is becoming a much more inclusive industry,” says Benjamin Dynkin, co-executive director of the Great Neck-based American Cybersecurity Institute, a non-profit think tank and co-founder of Great Neck-based Atlas Cybersecurity.
Sophisticated cyber campaigns used to target certain industries such as big banks and financial institutions, but they've trickled down to the individual level, he says.
Cybercriminals realize there are ways to profit beyond large thefts of corporate data, using other tactics like ransomware, a malicious software that can take over or limit access to a computer until a ransom is paid, says Dynkin.
There's a growing need for data that can categorize the size of the threat and key areas of concern, and while Cybersecurity Ventures isn’t the only source of such data, it's a “well-respected and well-cited source in the industry,” he says.
Cybersecurity expert Scott Schober agrees, noting, “as industries face more advanced cyberthreats, security companies must introduce countermeasures that can effectively stop and prevent future attacks. These cybersecurity companies and their investors require ‘big picture’ research offered by Cybersecurity Ventures.”
Schober, president and CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems Inc., a Metuchen, New Jersey-based wireless-threat detection and technology firm and author of "Hacked Again" (Scott Schober Publishing; $14.95), says he’s quoted Morgan’s data extensively in network TV appearances and on his blogs.
Morgan officially started Cybersecurity Ventures in 2014, but he had been doing custom cybersecurity research since 1999 for private companies, creating and selling a few ancillary firms along the way. He launched the company’s website in winter 2014, and in 2015 he started publishing data under his own corporate name.
But what really boosted the site's exposure was a report he published in August 2016 forecasting the global cost of cybercrime , says Morgan.
“It literally blew up on the internet,” he says, noting it was picked up by major news outlets. “It was almost like we legitimized overnight as a research firm.”
With increased exposure, corporate sponsorships of their reports and data rose. That grew even further with the launch in April of Cybercrime Magazine, created to present the data on Cybersecurity Ventures' website.
Cybersecurity vendors and related organizations pay to advertise on the firm's website and to sponsor its research. The research is never impacted by sponsors and is unbiased, Morgan says.
Last year, the average corporate sponsor spent $15,000 to $20,000, and now it’s close to $75,000 with several six-figure deals, he says, noting his site gets approximately 130,000 visitors monthly.
Herjavec Group has been a sponsor for about three years, and served as an expert source for the firm before that.
“Steve has established himself and Cybercrime Magazine as a leading source of information in the cybersecurity space,” says Herjavec, the Los Angeles-based founder and CEO. “He’s well respected, and well connected with industry analysts ... and leading cyber firms around the world.”
Herjavec has sponsored research and can be seen featured on the site.
He has also been interviewed as an expert as part of the video production side of Morgan’s business. When Morgan moved to new offices in Northport in June, he built a production studio there.
To date, Cybersecurity Ventures has filmed more than 20 video podcasts with top industry experts, including executives from Microsoft and Northwell Health. It has approximately 40 more booked for 2019. The informational podcasts are shot in Northport or on the Manhattan campus of New York Institute of Technology. Morgan has a strategic research partnership with the school.
He’s added staff to accommodate growth in the editorial and video production side.
“I only see us expanding further,” says Morgan. “This market’s growing quickly.”
At a Glance
Company: Cybersecurity Ventures, Northport
Founder/principal: Steve Morgan
Services: Provider of cybersecurity data, research and analytics
Employees: 5 full-time
Projected 2018 revenue: Approximately $2 million