Our world is in a state of crisis with regard to cyber threat – one doesn't have to take my word for it, it's the headline for many an editorial and research project finding.
While this crisis is a topic of frequent debate, there are few useful proposals for addressing the problems (besides throwing funding at them.)
Those of us who work in the area understand that successfully dealing with cyber issues now has far more to do with incremental improvements and practices than grandiose initiatives; without those incremental remedies, the grandiose initiatives may well be moot.
There are talented technologists, many of them veterans of the front lines of the cyberwars, who have numerous – and good – ideas for equipping security professionals with what they need to deal with problems – now.
So what's to keep these solution providers from developing and delivering their miracles to the masses? In a word, support.
It takes a lot to build the solutions and surrounding infrastructures necessary to deliver them to market. Folks can (and often do) go without salaries, offices, or paid help as they launch small businesses.
However, there comes a point when they've demonstrated to themselves and a small core of believers that they have something of real value, and at that point they need support above and beyond those things that the average person can pull together from their environment.
This support goes beyond simple funding – coaching and guidance from those who have gone before them is even more important.
This is where the Security Innovators Throwdown at SC World Congress comes in.
Security entrepreneurs get support in the form of expert review from the judge's panel, visibility from SC Magazine, and coaching from the panel and other participants that help them refine messaging and other outreach necessary for them to proceed to the next level of the startup process.
Many established investors make a point of attending the Security Innovators Throwdown and start conversations with entrepreneurs presenting there.
There are few venues in which moderated groups of security solution entrepreneurs are given public exposure. As the financial crises of the past couple of years have made the environment for early stage ventures extremely hostile, it is important for all of us that we help security innovators gain visibility among potential customers and investors – we have more than enough problems to keep them busy!