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10 Hot Cybersecurity Companies You Should Watch In 2021

Michael Novinson

Many of the industry‘s most ambitious vendors will in 2021 prioritize integrating major acquisitions, executing on new partner programs and initiatives, and expanding their technical capabilities.

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See the latest entry: 10 Hot Cybersecurity Companies You Should Watch In 2022

Many of the industry‘s most ambitious vendors will in 2021 prioritize integrating major acquisitions, executing on new partner programs and initiatives, and expanding their technical capabilities into new fields within cybersecurity.

All of the companies appearing on the list are expected to achieve at least 6 percent growth in their top-line revenue, headcount and stock price during 2020, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as well as LinkedIn. CrowdStrike experienced the most growth in top-line revenue, Zscaler did the most aggressive hiring, and Cloudflare had the most success with boosting its stock price.

The coming year will provide Palo Alto Networks, Rapid7 and CrowdStrike with an opportunity to integrate a slew of recent acquisitions, Cloudflare and Fortinet with time to drive sales of an expanded product portfolio, and Okta and Zscaler with a chance to deepen their ties to the channel through new programs and initiatives.

Here‘s a look at 10 hot cybersecurity companies solution providers should be watching in 2021.

Cloudflare

Cloudflare bought browser isolation firm S2 Systems for $39.2 million to protect endpoints from zero-day vulnerabilities without sacrificing speed, user experience or website compatibility. The company rolled out an identity and access management offering that secures, monitors and authenticates user access, and a tool that secures and filters outbound Internet traffic to protect workers from web threats.

The debut of Cloudflare One means that firms can protect their workforce in a flexible and scalable way without compromising security as distributed teams work from multiple devices and personal networks. Wall Street loves what it’s seen from Cloudflare in 2020, with the company’s stock price for the year skyrocketing up 366.4 percent to $82.41 per share on a valuation of $25.33 billion.

The San Francisco-based security and performance services vendor is expecting to grow revenue by 47 percent over the course of 2020 to $423 million. Cloudflare has leveraged its market traction to boost headcount by 42 percent during 2020 to 1,807 people, with its most aggressive hiring coming in the sales arena.

CrowdStrike 

CrowdStrike got into the access control and threat prevention space with its $96 million buy of Preempt Security to help clients protect identity data without compromising productivity or the user experience. CrowdStrike Endpoint Recovery Services brings together the power of the CrowdStrike Falcon platform, threat intelligence and real-time response to accelerate business recovery from cyber intrusions.

The debut of CrowdStrike Falcon Horizon allows for the automation of cloud security management across the app development lifecycle, enabling customers to securely deploy applications in the cloud with greater speed and efficiency. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based endpoint security vendor today enjoys a market cap of $38.93 billion after increasing its stock price by 221.3 percent since the start of 2020.

Massive displacement of both legacy and next-generation endpoint security vendors is expected to fuel a 78 percent increase in year-over-year revenue for CrowdStrike in the company’s current fiscal year to $857.5 million. CrowdStrike has also increased its headcount by 42 percent over the past year to 2,980 people, with the most aggressive hiring occurring for the business development and engineering teams.

Fortinet

Fortinet stepped up its game around SASE by purchasing Opaq for $8 million to strengthen distributed network protection from data centers and branch offices to remote users and Internet of Things devices. The company also bought Panopta for $34 million to gain visibility into and automate management of components like servers, containers, applications, databases, virtual appliances and cloud infrastructure.

Fortinet introduced two ruggedized firewalls to bring SD-WAN to challenging operational environments or remote locations that aren’t controlled, accounting for factors such as ranging temperatures and vibrations or movement that can wreak havoc on IT gear. The company expects to ride its product innovation to 19 percent annual sales growth in 2020, with revenue surging to roughly $2.57 billion.

Fortinet has also increased its headcount by 17 percent over the past year to 7,807 people, with the most aggressive hiring occurring in the business development and sales departments. Wall Street has rewarded Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Fortinet for its investments, sending the company’s stock price up 14.7 percent thus far in 2020 to $128.36 per share on a valuation of $20.84 billion.

Okta

Okta has doubled down on the channel in 2020, simplifying its training and accreditation process to make it easier for solution providers to get both sales and technical certifications. The company has also rolled out a partner-delivered customer identity and access management service as well as an access gateway to easily connect on-premises legacy and custom-built applications to the Okta Identity Cloud.

The company expanded its portfolio will the rollout of Okta Devices SDK, which allows developers to enable passwordless authentication through branded push notifications with biometric capabilities, minimizing friction for end-users. Wall Street views Okta’s strategy very favorably, with the company’s stock price catapulting by 105.3 percent in 2020 to $252.35 per share on a valuation of $32.67 billion.

These partner and product investments have driven new customers to San Francisco-based Okta, with the company expecting to grow year-over-year revenue by 40 percent in fiscal 2020 to $822.5 million. And Okta has beefed up its staffing to support continued innovation, with headcount growing by 34 percent to 3,441 people driven by aggressive hiring around business development and engineering.

Palo Alto Networks

The world’s largest pure-play cybersecurity vendor spent $1.49 billion in 2020 on three acquisitions to stay ahead of the competition. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based platform security giant started with the $420 million buy of SD-WAN player CloudGenix to accelerate the onboarding of remote branches and retail stores onto the Palo Alto Networks Prisma Access secure access service edge (SASE) platform.

Then came the $265 million purchase of risk management and digital forensics consulting firm The Crypsis Group, followed by the $800 million acquisition of Expanse to gain visibility into exposed and untracked assets in the customers‘ ecosystem. Investors have rewarded Palo Alto Networks for its bold moves, sending the company’s stock price up 28.3 percent over 2020 on a valuation of $29.6 billion.

Customers are flocking to all of Palo Alto Networks’ new features and capabilities, with sales in the company’s 2021 fiscal year, which ends July 31, expected to surge nearly 21 percent to $4.12 billion. Palo Alto Networks has also expanded size of its workforce by 13 percent over the past year to 8,730 employees, with the most aggressive hiring taking place around engineering and business development.

Qualys 

Qualys moved into the endpoint detection and response market through its $1.5 million buy of Spell Security to boost the firm’s endpoint behavior detection, threat hunting and malware research skills. The company’s new Vulnerability Management, Detection and Response (VMDR) offering automates the entire process across on-premises, endpoints, cloud, mobile, containers, OT and IoT environments.

Qualys continued to expand its cloud capabilities with Container Runtime Security, which provides deep visibility and runtime app protection across traditional server-based containers and newer container-as-a-service environments. Wall Street rewarded Qualys’ investment in the endpoint and cloud by driving the company’s stock price up 14 percent in 2020 to $95.05 per share on a valuation of $3.71 billion.

These new capabilities have also made Qualys more appealing to customers, with year-over-year sales expected to grow by 13 percent in 2020 to nearly $363 million. The Foster City, Calif.-based cloud security vendor has beefed up headcount over the past year to 1,430 people to support increased client demand, with the most aggressive hiring taking place in the quality assurance and sales organizations.

Rapid7

Rapid7 purchased cloud security startup DivvyCloud for $145 million to help customers protect cloud and container environments from misconfigurations, policy violations, external and internal threats, and identity and access management challenges. A new DivvyCloud module provides deeper visibility into cloud resources so customers can assess, prioritize, and remediate improper permission combinations.

Rapid7’s Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) customers now benefit from broader coverage and investigations into security incidents, as well as visibility into endpoint activity including host names and domains, process command lines and executable paths. Clients have been impressed with Rapid7’s new capabilities, driving an expected sales increase of 25 percent in 2020 to $407 million.

Wall Street has been pleased with Rapid7’s vision, sending the company’s stock 19.2 percent higher thus far in 2020 to $72.49 per share on a valuation of $3.75 billion. And the Boston-based firm has invested in new employees to support all this growth, increasing headcount by 18 percent over the past year to 1,944 people, with aggressive hiring coming in the support, information technology, and sales functions.

SailPoint 

SailPoint has strengthened its Predictive Identity Platform with an Access Modeling service that speeds the creation of roles across businesses, utilizing artificial intelligence to identify similar groupings of users and access to suggest potential roles. The new Cloud Access Management service provides better visibility into which users, human and non-human, have access to multi-cloud IaaS environments.

The company also debuted a new role validation feature that ensures the roles defined continue to be valid for an organization as it evolves, verifies that access for each role remains appropriate, and demonstrates that all roles are being properly governed. Wall Street rewarded SailPoint’s continued innovation by driving the company’s stock price up 110.7 percent in 2020 on a valuation of $4.63 billion.

These new capabilities have made Austin, Texas-based SailPoint more appealing to customers, with year-over-year sales expected to grow by 23 percent in 2020 to roughly $356 million. SailPoint has also increased its headcount by 19 percent over the past year to 1,415 people, with the most aggressive hiring occurring in the sales and information technology departments.

Varonis

Varonis updated its data security platform to give clients more visibility into how users are connecting to corporate networks, accessing data, and using collaboration platforms like Office 365 and Microsoft Teams. The platform now provides customers with real-time awareness of top remote work risks, like blacklisted countries with active VPN connections or privileged accounts accessing suspicious websites.

The company also carried out its first-ever acquisition, scooping up Polyrize to map and analyze relationships between users and data across a number of cloud applications and services. Wall Street has rewarded Varonis for these investments, sending the New York-based company’s stock price up by 85 percent thus far in 2020 to $144.36 per share on a valuation of $4.51 billion.

The company’s offerings have also gained more traction with the market, with year-over-year sales expected to grow by 11 percent in 2020 to $281 million. Varonis has beefed up its workforce to support the increased demand, with headcount increasing by 6 percent over last year to 1,609 employees, with the most aggressive hiring taking place in the company’s support and engineering organizations.

Zscaler

Zscaler broadened its capabilities with a pair of acquisitions, buying cloud security posture management startup Cloudneeti for $8.9 million to prevent and remediate application misconfigurations in the cloud. The company then purchased early-stage vendor Edgewise Networks for $30.7 million to better protect application-to-application communications in public cloud and data center settings.

For the channel, San Jose, Calif.-based Zscaler rolled out a new partner program that tightens the firm’s relationship with its top solution providers by adding more enablement capabilities and increased access to channel account managers. Investors have looked very favorably at Zscaler’s moves, boosting the company’s stock by 274.4 percent during 2020 to $181.23 per share on a valuation of $24.32 billion.

The dramatic growth has been fueled by Zscaler’s investment in personnel, with the company increasing its headcount by 44 percent to 2,486 people driven by robust hiring around business development and sales. As a result of its product and partner investments, Zscaler’s year-over-year revenue for the 2021 fiscal year, which ends June 30, is expected to jump by 41.4 percent to $610 million.

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