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Human err(or) no more; Why we invested in Protexxa

Have you ever seen a scene in a movie where the computers at a big company or a government organization suddenly starts beeping, flashing warning signs of a security breach on its screen?


Well, these scenes are increasingly becoming a reality. Digital crime and cyberattacks have grown with the digital economy. Even big technology companies like Uber and LinkedIn have gone through their fair share of it.


Cybercrime, which includes everything from theft or embezzlement to data hacking and destruction has increased significantly since the pandemic. To put it into perspective, consider this; since COVID-19, the FBI has reported a 300% increase in cyberattacks. There was a 38% increase in global cyberattacks between 2021 and 2022 alone.


At the current rate of growth, damage from cyberattacks will amount to about $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. Imminent and ever-present threat to data security has made the need for preventive measures urgent, driving organisations around the world to spend $150 billion on cybersecurity in 2021, a number which is growing at 12.4%.


With an increase in demand and adoption of cybersecurity, companies stepping up to offer advanced and customized solutions to fight cyber onslaught, are perfectly poised to seize this $2 trillion market opportunity.


The role of human error in cybersecurity


Though there are several reasons for the dramatic rise in cyberattacks, at 95%, human error is the leading cause of cyber lapses and represents the weakest link in cybersecurity of a business. All it takes is a simple human mistake; a click on a wrong link, a missed update or a weak password, to put the whole organization into jeopardy. A lack of individual cyber hygiene leaves entire organisations vulnerable to security breaches.


However, there is an interesting, positive inference which can be drawn from such a stark statistic; which is that with training and cyber awareness, most cyber-attacks can be prevented.


Protexxa - increasing cyber resiliency


Protexxa is a B2B SaaS cybersecurity platform that leverages Artificial Intelligence to rapidly identify, evaluate, predict, and resolve cyber issues for employees. Their platform assesses personal and company cyber health, while identifying possible areas of exposure from the mainstream internet and the dark web environment. Its main product is Protexxa Defender, an AI-powered assessment and remediation solutions (including a concierge-like hotline) to control and reduce cyber vulnerabilities.


With small businesses accounting for 43% of cyberattacks annually, it is imperative for businesses of all sizes to seriously consider equipping their human capital adequately when thinking about their cyber security strategy. With its focus on increasing individual cyber literacy, coupled with its capabilities to offer targeted cyber solutions, Protexxa is primed to cater to the fast-growing shift in businesses towards cyber security.


First impression


When we decide to invest in a startup, it really is the people behind - the founder(s) - we are investing in. Dr. Claudette McGowan, Protexxa’s founder, is recognized for her depth of knowledge in the cyber security space. Her years of experience as a global information technology leader for leading Canadian financial institutions, which are the target of attacks on a daily basis, gives her an unparalled competitive advantage. Financial firms are 300 times more likely than any other institutions to experience cyber-attacks. Claudette’s relentless focus on customer experience & product innovation, as well as her passion about advancing women in technology, resonated with us intensely and led to our conviction behind supporting her startup.


Conclusion


As enterprises migrate their core businesses to cloud and adopt advanced technologies, the requirement for cyber security policies, initiatives and training to address the increased incidences of data breaches, is growing rapidly too. A spur of innovation by cyber security startups, and a fast-growing threat landscape, has made cybersecurity a high-priority category for VCs. We are proud to partner with Protexxa as the team executes their vision to address the human part of cyber security and fill the gaps between personal cyber hygiene and business risk.

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