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New Cybersecurity Venture Firm Launched

Former US-CERT director joins 'accelerator' Strategic Cyber Ventures LLC.

Former executives from US-CERT, Trend Micro, and Booz-Allen Hamilton have teamed up to form a new venture to back cybersecurity startups.

Washington, DC-based Strategic Cyber Ventures (SCV) LLC, is looking to invest in companies that have built next-generation security technology that better defends against advanced attackers than existing products and technologies, according to its founders.

“We’re not an incubator or a VC. We’re more of an accelerator,” says Tom Kellermann, co-founder and CEO of SCV. Kellermann, the former chief cybersecurity officer at Trend Micro, says SCV has a major benefactor behind it, Hudson Bay Capital. 

Aside from funding, SCV will offer strategic advisory services in business development, product roadmap, partnerships, government relations, marketing, and public relations.

“We trying to identify what we consider significant gaps” in security and backing companies who fill those gaps, he says. The three-member SCV team's cybersecurity experience and knowledge is something many venture capital firms lack, he says.

“Our differentiator is that we are actually in this space and know what we don’t know,” Kellermann says of the SCV team.

SCV’s chief technology officer is Ann Barron-DiCamillo, who recently left her post as director of the US-CERT.

Hank Thomas, former principal director at Booz Allen Hamilton, has worked in incident response investigations and says he’s seen plenty of companies with multiple security products that fail to solve their security problems. “They have bells and whistles going off, and they can occasionally connect the dots, but more often, it’s just chaos,” says Thomas, who is chief operating officer of SCV.

The goal is to find companies that solve problems rather than create new ones with their latest technology, he says. Thomas says he’s looking for companies that provide “actionable intelligence” that allows an organization to be proactive rather than reactive to attacks and threats

Among the technologies Kellermann says he’s interested in are intrusion deception, mobile app security, and next-generation authentication.

The company plans to make its first investments by this summer. 

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Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?

Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.