Black Hat USA 2020 will look very different than it has in years past. Instead of boarding flights to Las Vegas, the infosec community is going online to attend from home: This year's briefings, show floor, Arsenal, breakout sessions, and meetings will all be virtual.
This year's digital show floor will feature Startup City, where a range of up-and-coming security companies will be exhibiting their newest technologies. Many of these organizations focus on tools that have become essential as businesses secure a growing number of remote employees.
Many businesses paused on spending during the COVID-19 pandemic, and cybersecurity was no exception. Security budgets and market growth froze as spending came under intense scrutiny. Organizations spent slightly less on endpoint security and more on cloud-based services, some cloud security tools, and some remote access technologies and automated security offerings.
"As for startups generally, there seems to be a fairly healthy crop of new companies in a range of areas within security," says Rik Turner, principal analyst with Omdia's IT Security and Technology team. "Endpoint security went through a busy period a few years back but seems to have calmed down of late," he adds, noting the acquisitions could be linked to consolidation.
Still, 2020 has been a rough year for the security startup market. Early stage investment fell by more than 37% in the first half of 2020; however, some new companies are generating interest with tools that help secure employees working from home. Investors are eyeing technologies that protect workers from threats that may target them outside traditional corporate offices.
"We're all working remotely for the most part, saving money on real estate but also relying on the security infrastructure of a lot of individuals' homes, which is outside the purview of control of organizations," says Omdia senior cybersecurity analyst Tanner Johnson.
Many of the startups exhibiting in Black Hat's Startup City are building technologies that will become increasingly relevant as more employees swap their corporate offices for home offices. Read on to learn more about which startups to watch on this year's virtual show floor.