Cyber Threats Boost Growth at VC-Backed Cyber-Ark Software, IPO ‘Not Too Far’ Away

(Reuters) – Information security company Cyber-Ark Software expects sales will continue to grow at least 30 percent a year as it benefits from businesses’ needs to protect themselves from ever-increasing cyber threats, the CEO said.

A series of high-profile cyber attacks in the past two years prompted many businesses around the world to beef up their protection, increasing their budgets and expediting deployment of security projects.

“We’ve seen great growth, over 30% growth year-over-year and really wide adoption globally,” Udi Mokady said at the Reuters Global Media and Technology Summit in London on Monday.

“We want to keep at least a 30 percent growth rate. We have a few ways where that may accelerate,” he said, noting the company benefited from a high renewal rate among its customers.

Unlike many security companies that provide anti-virus protection or firewalls to guard from outside attacks, Cyber-Ark focuses on threats from the inside, specifically the “privileged accounts” of IT (information technology) administrators.

Such attackers can range from disgruntled employees seeking to sabotage a company to outside hackers seeking access to a company’s most important data.

Mokady said 820 technology professionals surveyed by the company in the United States and Europe showed 71% were more concerned by internal than external threats.

Cyber-Ark’s solution is to lock up this information in “digital vaults” with very limited access. A second product encrypts files and another product records access to the top-secret data.

The Israeli company, which competes with CA and Quest Software has over 1,000 clients, including eight of the top 10 banks, with financial institutions accounting for a third of its customer base.

“Financial institutions really get it and you find they are at the forefront of adopting new technologies, at the forefront of looking at risk and not assuming everything is okay,” Mokady said.

In December Cyber-Ark raised $40 million in an investment led by Goldman Sachs and Israeli venture capital firm Jerusalem Venture Partners.

Much of the money went into buying out early investors while some was invested in the company. Cyber-Ark, which is “nicely profitable” would like to grow its revenue more before going public, Mokady said.

“Down the road we will look at the public market,” Mokady said. “In the meantime we’re going to be potentially acquiring smaller companies.”

He would not disclose at what revenue level the company would seek to go public, but said it could be more than the $80 million level of sales at data security company Imperva when it went public last year.

“We’re not too far,” he said.

(Reporting by Tova Cohen; editing by David Cowell, Reuters)

Image credit: Information security concept photo courtesy of ShutterStock

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