Cyber investors should pay careful attention to the severe cybersecurity workforce shortage before placing their bets in 2017.
Hiring experienced cyber personnel belongs on the list of business fundamentals — alongside management pedigree, total addressable market, and others — when sizing up a publicly-traded cybersecurity company’s ability to execute, grow, and deliver shareholder value.
Organizations globally are waking up to the reality of cybercrime damages — which include destruction of data, stolen money, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, embezzlement, fraud, post-attack disruption to the normal course of business, forensic investigation, restoration and deletion of hacked data and systems, and reputational harm.
The biggest challenge for any publicly-traded cyber firm heading into 2017 is scaling its headcount of skilled security personnel. In 2016, there were one million cybersecurity job openings and an unemployment rate that dropped to zero-percent. The job openings will grow to 1.5 million by 2019. There’s a severe workforce shortage of experienced talent in our market — and that poses a major challenge for public companies with ambitious growth goals.
Some of the toughest positions to recruit are cybersecurity software engineers, and digital forensics experts. Investors need to understand that a public company (or IPO candidate) playing in a highly technical niche — for instance cloud security or outsourced managed security services — is going to be especially challenged on the HR side.
The standouts will be companies with recognizable brands in hot markets, with lots of headroom for growth. The best candidates want to be involved with cutting edge technologies in the war against cybercrime, and they want the financial rewards too.
Mimecast (NASDAQ:MIME) is one of the hottest and most innovative publicly traded cybersecurity firms right now, and poised to attract top talent in it’s space.
The U.K. founded company which has HQs in London and Boston, Mass., and additional offices in Europe and the U.S., plus South Africa and Australia, has openings globally. Positions include titles that aren’t so easier to fill — including Anti-Abuse Analysts, Scrum Masters, NetOps Engineers, SOC Analysts. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Software Engineers, Big Data Engineers, Penetration Testers, Security Researchers, Android Mobile App Developers, and others.
What Mimecast really has going for it right now – is that they’re a hot mover and shaker in a market that the best candidates are watching.
The recent U.S. presidential election heightened awareness around email security — at a time when many companies are planning to move their email platforms to the cloud. This is a major IT infrastructure change, and major spend, for corporations of all sizes including Fortune 500, Global 2000, and small-to-mid sized businesses – along with governments and educational institutions.
Mimecast is a long time pure-play cybersecurity firm who’s an inch wide and a mile deep in the email and cloud security markets. They have one of the longest standing CEOs in the tech industry. Peter Bauer has been at the helm since 2003, and he has the vision and execution strategy to continue growing in a highly competitive space. His mantra? Remain focused and don’t get tempted into other markets that would dilute their pure-play market leadership position.
When a market like email security goes through a transitional stage as it is now –moving to the cloud — early adopters want a company who they can trust. There’s a lot of loaded risk for a company moving their email operations to the cloud. Mimecast has worked long and hard at earning that trust from CIOs and CISOs (chief information security officers).
Mimecast has executed on its business over the past year and it will come as no surprise if the stock market darling soars to a billion-dollar market cap by the second or third quarter of 2017.
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