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Cybersecurity, MSSP Companies Invade Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Business List

The latest Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies contains dozens of IT services providers and MSPs. But that's not all. Dig a little deeper and you'll specifically find MSSPs (managed security services providers) and next-generation cybersecurity company that work extensively with channel partners.

Skeptical? Here are just a few of the sample names we spotted on the Inc. 5000 list for 2017 -- along with some of our observations about each company. Note: Company growth rates are based on a three-year revenue window, with annual revenue figures based on 2016 results.

AlertLogic, ranked 2441: Revenue grew 147 percent over the past three years, reaching more than $100 million in 2016. AlertLogic ranks among the Top MSSPs in North America, according to the Forrester Wave report for 2016. The company received a $70 million syndicated credit facility in June 2017.

Cylance, ranked 301: Revenue jumped 1,454 percent, reaching $45.1 million. The company announced a new CFO hire in August 2017, triggering fresh speculation about a potential IPO. The company also launched consumer software in mid-2017. The goal: Allow employees to move seamlessly between work and home settings while continuing to ensure endpoint security.

DirectDefense, ranked 169: Revenue rose 2,463 percent, reaching $5.9 million. The company offers a massive list of managed security services for end-customers.

KnowBe4, ranked 231 Revenue grew 1,856 percent, reaching $10.1 million. The company also has marketing know-how. Among its smartest moves of 2017: Publishing  a top 10 list of the most clicked phishing email subject lines.

Malwarebytes, ranked 847: Revenue grew 532 percent, reaching $98.3 million. The company landed in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for endpoint protection platforms in 2017.

Mosaic451, ranked 376: Revenue grew 1,149 percent, reaching $16.4 million. The company specialize in security operations center and network operations center services, among other things. Recent moves include a new EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) partner program.

Optiv Security, ranked 3897: Revenue jumped 74 percent to $2 billion. KKR, a private equity firm, acquired Optiv in late 2016. Financial terms weren't disclosed. But we poked around. Worked our sources. And... a few trusted folks told us the Optiv sale was worth $1.9 billion.

That's just a sampling of the security-focused companies on the Inc. 5000 list for 2017. Check the list for dozens of addition examples

Rising Tide Lifts All Boats?

The overall cybersecurity market remains in healthy growth mode.

Worldwide information security spending is expected to reach $86.4 billion this year, an increase of 7 percent year over year, according to technology research firm Gartner. In addition, worldwide information security spending will total $93 billion by 2018, Gartner said.

But here's the twist: 40 percent of all managed security services contracts will be bundled by 2020, up from 20 percent today, Gartner said in a prepared statement. Gartner attributed the potential increase in MSS contract bundles to the rapidly evolving services provided by MSSPs, ITO providers and other security consultants.

The challenge: Bundles could indicate pricing pressure is on the way...

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.