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The 2021 Security 100

Michael Novinson

CRN‘s annual Security 100 list helps solution providers decide what technologies and vendors they should place their bets on in the crowded and complex security vendor market.

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The CRN Security 100 has evolved as digital transformation and COVID-19 have rapidly shifted users, devices, applications, services and data outside the enterprise data center. The list provides a look at 100 vendors across five market segments to guide solution providers on which security technologies and vendors they can place their bets on in a crowded market.

Network security companies are grappling with the integration of technologies with 5G, causing more data to be shared via the network and creating more threats for service providers and users. And the presence of hosting environments where all devices are connected to the server has increased security risk, with hackers constantly attacking networks to destroy databases and get confidential information.

Private equity firms have spent heavily to strengthen their position in network security via acquisition, capped off by Warburg Pincus investing in Vista Equity-controlled Infoblox in a deal valuing the company at $3 billion, Bloomberg said. Other major acquisitions included Advent International’s $1.4 billion buy of IoT security firm Forescout and Insight Partners’ $1.1 billion purchase of IoT security startup Armis.

Endpoint security vendors, meanwhile, are defending businesses from hacks on employee-owned laptops, smartphones or wearable devices, with the Internet of Things, industrial control systems and smart sensors also attracting endpoint attacks. Companies with limited IT expertise are adopting managed security services for real-time consultation to better detect and respond to new and unknown attacks.

Three companies on our list secured six-figure funding rounds, including Arctic Wolf, which raised $200 million in a round led by Viking Global Investors; SentinelOne, which raised $200 million in a round led by Insight Partners and $267 million in a round led by Tiger Global Management; and Tanium, which raised $117.2 million in a round led by Salesforce Ventures and $150 million in a round with existing investors.

In the risk, threat intelligence and SIEM space, advancements have been focused on helping companies interpret data and guide decisions for event detection as well as identify potential breaches and threats dwelling in unexpected spaces. The need for continuous monitoring and incident response, adhering to compliance requirements, and managing and retaining logs are driving demand for security operations.

This space has been a prime target for private equity acquisitions, with STG Partners agreeing in February to purchase encryption pioneer RSA Security from Dell Technologies for $2.08 billion. Then in December, Thoma Bravo bought a majority stake in machine identity management software provider Venafi at a $1.15 billion valuation.

From a web, application and email security standpoint, the rapid growth in cloud services has given rise to new and sophisticated threats such as spear phishing, trojans, ransomware, business email compromise scams, social engineering, and malware and spam. These technologies can help businesses prevent cyberattacks and commercial espionage as well as ensure the security and privacy of data.

Three web, application and email security companies on our list tapped someone new to lead them, with Area 1 Security bringing on ex-SonicWall leader Patrick Sweeney to take over from co-founder Oren Falkowitz, Imperva naming longtime Infor COO Pam Murphy as its next CEO, and Trustwave landing former DXC Executive Vice President of Operations Eric Harmon to replace Art Wong as CEO.

And when it comes to identity access management and data protection, growing concerns around cybersecurity and critical data loss coupled with the need for protection from malware and ransomware is expected to fuel further market growth. From passwordless authentication and removing excess cloud permissions to securing shared credentials, vendors are doubling down on safeguarding data and access.

Three vendors that excelled at securely facilitating remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic saw their valuations more than double over 2020. Identity vendor SailPoint’s stock was up 122 percent on a valuation of $4.89 billion; identity vendor Okta’s stock price was up 112 percent on a valuation of $33.68 billion; and data security vendor Varonis’ stock price was up 107 percent on a valuation of $5.24 billion.


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