6 cybersecurity start-ups transforming global risk management

8 Aug 2019

Image: Andreus/Depositphotos

The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers of 2019 include six cybersecurity companies tackling global data protection issues.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has selected 56 emerging tech firms from around the world for its 2019 Technology Pioneers, six of which are cybersecurity start-ups promising to transform international data privacy and digital protection for the better.

WEF Technology Pioneers are selected annually by a committee of technology experts, investors and entrepreneurs.

All chosen pioneers, celebrated at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions in July, will participate in a two-year programme with the WEF. The prestigious initiative facilitates their collaboration with emerging tech peers, engagement with industry figures and exposure to global experts.


BigID helps organisations get to know their customers through data, but enhances protection of it through accelerating detection of, and response to, breaches.

Its main office is in New York, where it was founded in 2016 by security industry veterans Dimitri Sirota and Nimrod Vax, but BigID also has offices in Israel.

The company has won a suite of awards including the 2017 CyberSecurity Breakthrough prize for compliance software solution of the year and Business Insider’s 2019 Business to Watch. According to Crunchbase, the start-up has raised funding of $96.1m.


London-based Callsign aims to revolutionise how people digitally identify themselves.

Zia Hayat, the company’s co-founder and CEO, previously designed military and financial information systems with Accenture, BAE Systems and Lloyds.

Applying AI technology to such data collection points as typing or swiping techniques, location, online habits, face recognition, devices and even passwords, Callsign can determine if someone is who they say they are in a user-friendly way.

Callsign has raised a total funding amount of $38.8m, according to Crunchbase, to deploy its software to millions of users globally, including some of the world’s largest banks.


CyberCube’s mission is to deliver world-leading cyber risk analytics. Led by CEO Pascal Millaire, the team helps the insurance sector to share more risk with businesses.

Based in San Francisco, CyberCube combines big data AI with actuarial science in a software platform that aims to help insurers make better decisions when managing catastrophic cybersecurity events. It has collaborated with such companies as global professional services firm Aon.

CyberCube won the Insurtech Team of the Year 2019 award from Business Insurance US and was named Advisen’s 2019 Cyber Risk Model of the Year.


Promising to challenge traditional detection-based security techniques is Garrison, a technology for ensuring secure internet access. This London-based company, founded in 2014 by CEO David Garfield, is looking to redesign how people click links and browse the web.

In an age of unprecedented cyberattacks that are sophisticated and targeted, Garrison allows people to click on even the most dangerous links without putting data or systems at risk – a major obstacle for mainstream commercial organisations. Crunchbase cites its total funding amount to date as £34.9m.


The vision of Tel Aviv-headquartered Qedit is to enable secure collaboration between companies using sensitive data.

Co-founded by Jonathan Rouach, Qedit allows for collaboration based on confidential information without exposing the underlying data through employing zero-knowledge blockchain, which generates proofs for all, but data for nobody.

This technology acts as a trust accelerator among companies that wish to collaborate based on data that cannot be shared. For example, Qedit helps banks have confidentiality when transferring assets and helps companies set up supply chain management systems with their whole ecosystem while preserving confidentiality. This means that competitors can work together without risk.

According to Crunchbase, Qedit’s total funding amount is $10m.

Shape Security

Based in Mountain View, California, Shape Security’s mission is to stop online credentials attacks and eliminate fraud.

The company was co-founded in 2011 by CEO Derek Smith, previously the senior adviser for cyber policy at the Pentagon.

Shape Security aims to make it too expensive for attackers to understand and penetrate customer applications. In doing this, the company injects enhanced cybersecurity between consumers and major online brands, protecting against bots imitating real customers.

Today, Shape defends 1.7bn user accounts. The start-up was recognised as the fastest growing company in Silicon Valley and the third-fastest growing company in the US by Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500. According to Crunchbase, its total funding amount stands at $132m.

Cybersecurity lock and circuit. Image: Andreus/Depositphotos

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Lisa Ardill was careers editor at Silicon Republic until June 2021