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2022 Wrap Up: NightDragon Portfolio CEOs on Market Trends and Industry Outlook 

As we enter the last few weeks of 2022, the NightDragon community is stepping back to reflect on a year filled with challenges and opportunities, as well as what trends we expect to see in the year to come. 

As we did so, we heard countless great perspectives from across our network that we felt were important to share back with the industry at large. In this first iteration of a four-part series with insights from across the NightDragon community, our portfolio CEOs have contributed their thoughts on what trends they are watching and technology categories they expect to grow in 2023 and beyond.

NightDragon’s portfolio includes leading companies in the cybersecurity, safety, security and privacy space. Between them, their CEOs have collective decades of experience in their sectors, as well as in building companies. Take a look at what a few have to say about what trends they are watching: 

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Matt Carroll, CEO at Immuta: CISOs will need to become the enablers – not the bottlenecks – of the modern data stack

The rapid shift of data from on-premises to the cloud is spurring one of the greatest cybersecurity challenges to date. Despite most CISOs having a full arsenal of tools for protecting data in the cloud, the proliferation of cloud players such as Snowflake, Databricks, Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, and other cloud-based SaaS solutions has accelerated data sharing to a breaking point. Traditional approaches that worked for on-premises environments just can’t keep up with the exponential growth in the number of users, data sources, and policies that must be governed, managed, and secured in today’s environment. 

As a result, in 2023 we’ll see a major shift in data security architecture, forcing CISOs to roll up their sleeves and put controls into place around this budding “Modern Data Stack.” This will include proper access controls that effectively balance access and security, continuous monitoring of business intelligence, and data science activities for anomaly detection. At the same time, how we think about monitoring will have to change – zero trust won’t work using traditional approaches because there are too many endpoints. At the end of the day, monitoring within the modern data stack must evolve to keep pace with the speed of data.

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John Serafini, CEO, HawkEye 360 – In 2022, we saw how commercial data gathered from space opened a new window into global conflicts like never before, both helping to anticipate the unprovoked and illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine and providing ongoing understanding of the rapidly changing conditions. This data and derived data science analytics are now becoming critical for tracing human rights violations and improving battlefield situational awareness. Every day and all around the globe, providers of imagery, synthetic aperture radar, and RF geospatial intelligence are proving their value to the international community by monitoring geopolitical situations, preventing illegal fishing, tracking smuggling and border crossing violations, and radically improving situational awareness.

We can’t predict the next geopolitical hot spot to breakout in 2023, but I’m confident that the world will face new challenges that require new types of data and derived data science analytics to monitor and address these inevitable problems. Governments can be slow to change, but they are recognizing this new opportunity to better integrate commercial geospatial data into their activities given the new availability and shareability of this wealth of information. I expect this trend will accelerate through unique collaboration business models, where commercial capital is used to develop the solutions and governments shift to acquiring data provided as a service. We’ll also see a deeper emphasis on applying AI and Machine Learning to sort through and combine a wide variety of data sets, enabling analysts, Warfighters, and decision makers to be their most effective.

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Paul Martini, CEO, iboss: With the increasing adoption of Zero Trust architecture by companies and government agencies, we should anticipate that Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) will evolve to Zero Trust Access (ZTA). With this, Zero Trust will move from functioning purely as a VPN replacement to the concept of a user connecting to commodity Internet, having all traffic secured and encrypted both to the office and to the internet. Along with this shift, the terms Zero Trust Access and Security Service Edge will begin to converge, representing the single concept of unified connectivity and security. We will also see the shift to perimeter-less technology accelerate to a model where users will require only commodity internet to securely connect to everything from the office, at home, at airports and at hotels. This change will greatly reduce costs for organizations, fulfill the growing work from anywhere model and will be secured all through Zero Trust. Additionally, as Zero Trust sees continued adoption, Data Centers will continue to be decommissioned in favor of SaaS and Cloud Infrastructure providers, replacing firewalls and proxies with Zero Trust Security Service Edges that perform the same functions.

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Michael Martin, CEO, RapidSOS: 2022 was a year that brought unprecedented challenges for 911 and first responders globally – natural disasters, gun violence, war, and an ongoing pandemic. Globally first responders responded to nearly 2 billion emergency calls.

While we don’t see the pace of emergencies slowing in 2023, we are increasingly seeing the power of technology and people working together to transform response. In North America, 15,000+ agencies now receive critical data through RapidSOS, including real-time location, native language, health information, and sensor data from 500M+ devices in an emergency.  In 2023 we expect to see that capability continue to expand globally as tech companies continue to harness the power of this infrastructure to roll out innovative new life-saving services such as Apple’s EmergencySOS via Satellite.

2023 will undoubtedly bring new challenges for humanity, but with the incredible heroism of first responders globally and the new emergency data infrastructure, I am not afraid of our collective ability to meet even the most trying moments in 2023.

This blog is the first in a series of end of year blogs regarding the state of the market and what to expect in 2023 and beyond. Keep an eye out for more insights from our portfolio companies, advisors and team in the next few weeks.

To learn more about the state of cybersecurity, register for our second annual NightVision State of Cybersecurity event on January 3. The event will feature top leaders in government, go-to-market, analysts, CISOs, venture capital and more to talk about market trends and the state of the industry. Register here