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Investors are so scared of this global risk they poured $70m into one firm to fight it

(Source: Getty)
(Source: Getty)

An Australian cyber-security start-up has raised a record-breaking $70 million as cyber-security becomes recognised as a major risk.

Founded by two cyber-security experts, the Sydney-based firm Secure Code Warrior is an online coding platform that helps software developers factor in security into code-writing.

The $70 million raised in a Series B funding round marks the largest US investment of its kind into an Australian cyber-security business.

The funding round was led by US investment bank Goldman Sachs, as well as ForgePoint Capital and Cisco Investments. Former investors AirTree Ventures and US’ Paladin Capital Group have also invested again in the start-up.

The investment comes at a time where cyber-security is becoming recognised as a leading risk not just for organisations in Australia, but across the globe.

“As organisations around the world increase their reliance on software, the need for secure code and a security mindset championed by developers has never been more important,” said Secure Code Warrior CEO Pieter Danhieux.

In 2016, the federal government launched a $230 million cyber security strategy that outlined five themes of action across the years leading up to 2020.

Cybersecurity is among one of the many skill shortages that Australia faces in the new decade, with the nation needing an extra 100,000 tech workers by 2024.

And according to cybersecurity industry business developer Gergana Kiryakova, cybersecurity officers will be in greater demand as it won’t be sufficient for this position to be rolled into the job of someone who simply manages IT.

“The agenda of someone who's managing IT does not necessarily meet the agenda of someone who's trying to protect the IT systems and the business from risks,” she said in Sydney recently.

According to PayScale, the average salary for those with cybersecurity skills is $100,000.

What is Secure Code Warrior?

Secure Code Warrior has global customers including the BBC, Verizon, DBS Bank, as well as local customers such as Telstra, Woolworths, Xero, ING Bank and other Australian banks.

“The opportunity to increase the world’s secure coding skills at source is enormous, and we have only just begun.”

AirTree Ventures partner James Cameron said software developers were at the frontlines of cybersecurity, and ForegPoint Capital managing director Sean Cunningham said Secure Code Warrior was addressing the “root cause”: developers writing code.

“Secure Code Warrior solves a fundamental problem for organisations: teaching, measuring and improving secure coding skills during the development process. The Security industry cannot keep up with the vulnerabilities hackers produce, as current market solutions are simply not effective,” he said.

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