Security News

The 10 Hottest Cybersecurity Startups In 2023 (So Far)

Kyle Alspach

Startups with innovative new tools for securing the cloud, applications and authentication are among those that have stood out from the pack during the first half of this year.


CEO: Michael Fey

Island, a fast-growing startup that offers a security-focused web browser for businesses, told CRN in March that it’s making a major bid to expand its work with partners with the hire of industry veteran Keith Weatherford as its first channel chief.

Weatherford, who departed a role as global channel chief at cybersecurity firm Forescout, told CRN that he sees a massive opportunity to help Island connect with the channel around bringing its secure browser to a wider number of businesses. Founded in mid-2020, Island only exited stealth in February 2022 and has already done a number of customer deals through channel partners.

With Weatherford now heading its channel efforts, Island is expecting to accelerate that work while also developing its first partner program, which should launch prior to 2024. “[Island] definitely had channel impact in year one, but we see an opportunity to ramp that up significantly,” Weatherford said.

At one of Island’s early partners, Trace3, initial use cases have included allowing businesses to provide secure application access to their contractors, as well as enabling secure usage of BYOD (bring your own device) as well. Trace3 is “super excited about where Island is going,” said Katherine Walther, vice president of innovation at Trace3.

Other uses for Island that could be significant include using the browser as an alternative to zero trust network access (ZTNA) and data loss prevention (DLP) solutions, according to Walther.

Kyle Alspach

Kyle Alspach is a Senior Editor at CRN focused on cybersecurity. His coverage spans news, analysis and deep dives on the cybersecurity industry, with a focus on fast-growing segments such as cloud security, application security and identity security.  He can be reached at

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