January was an active month both for cyber market and venture capital (“VC”) funding activity, while M&A experienced a slower start in the new year. On the industry side, experts uncovered one of the largest and most pervasive cyberattacks ever launched, called “Red October.” Over the last five years, Red October reportedly stole terabytes of data from government, diplomatic, and scientific research organizations around the world, and also targeted data on smartphones – one of the first large-scale attacks to do so. On the government policy side, the Army Cyber Command (“ARCYBER”) began developing a chain-of-command doctrine that a commander might use to request cyberattacks on enemy networks, similar to the way a precision airstrike is ordered.
On the M&A front, there were a couple of notable acquisitions. InvestCorp S.A. made a sizable move into the cybersecurity market with its acquisition of FishNet Security, a provider of comprehensive cybersecurity products and services. Guavus, Inc. acquired Neuralitic Systems, a provider of mobile data intelligence technology that analyzes network, application, and content usage patterns to optimize marketing initiatives; Guavus also raised a $30 million Series D funding round in January. In additional funding news, SevOne, a provider of Big Data network performance management solutions, raised a $150 million Series B funding round, expected to be in preparation of an IPO. Also speculated to execute a near-term IPO is FireEye, aprovider of cybersecurity solutions that detect and block advanced malware, which raised a $50 million Series D funding round in January.