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Cyber, Financial Concerns Taking Note of Howard County

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Financial institutions and investors from around the country this past year have identified Howard County as a prime location for growth in the cybersecurity market, investing millions of dollars in funding two of the region’s largest cybersecurity firms.

Columbia-based Tenable Network Security and Fulton based IronNet Cybersecurity have raised a total of $250 million and $32.5 million, respectively, in 2015.

“Seeing this level of investment in cybersecurity companies in 2015 confirms that Howard County is cyber central for this region,” said Larry Twele, CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority. “When other cybersecurity businesses see this type of activity, it attracts attention from all around the country. When you have two stories like this, it tells them that this is the place they have to be.”

Tenable Network Security, one of the leading global providers of next-generation cybersecurity software, announced a $250 million Series B funding round on Nov. 10, led by Insight Venture Partners and Accel. The investment marks one of the largest fundraising rounds completed for a private security company and is expected to accelerate Tenable’s long-term global growth.

“Tenable has the only true continuous network monitoring offering on the market, and our products defend some of the world’s largest and most complex networks, keeping our customers secure in the harshest of threat environments,” said Ron Gula, CEO of Tenable. “We are proud to partner with Insight and Accel who, with their investment and deep expertise in technology and security, will enable us to further accelerate our global growth and innovation.”

Tenable has more than 1 million users and almost 20,000 customers worldwide who rely on its solutions to continuously monitor enterprise networks for vulnerabilities and threats, from some of the most recognizable brands in the world — such as Deloitte, Visa, BMW, Adidas and Microsoft — to public sector organizations, including all arms of the entire U.S. Department of Defense. The company grew billings more than 50% last year and has a run rate that exceeds $100 million.

To position the company for continued growth, Tenable added more than 200 new employees in 2015 and significantly expanded its channel network worldwide.

IronNet Cybersecurity, a provider of state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions, raised $32.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Trident Capital Cybersecurity and joined by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

“Criminal syndicates and nation states are inflicting tremendous harm on the private sector, costing hundreds of billions of dollars annually,” said IronNet CEO Keith Alexander. “Cybersecurity has become the most pressing threat to both the global private sector and our national security, and existing approaches and defenses to protect networks are falling short. IronNet is creating a new standard in cybersecurity by providing technology that gives our clients an unprecedented level of network visibility, data control and security.”

IronNet will use the capital to continue developing a comprehensive cybersecurity solution that aims to revolutionize cyber defense for the private sector. IronNet’s technology enables real-time visualization of a company’s entire cyber infrastructure and employs advanced behavioral models and elite petabyte-scale analytics to detect anomalous activity and support proactive mitigation.