Trend Micro to invest in IoT startups through new $100m venture fund

The fund will be used to gather insights about the IoT ecosystem that can then be used to guide Trend Micro's development roadmap.

Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro has announced the launch of a $100 million global venture targeting startups in emerging technology markets, such as the Internet of Things (IoT).

In addition to capital, portfolio startups will gain access to Trend Micro's technology and its channel of more than 28,000 partners.

Trend Micro admitted that working with startups will allow it to unearth insights into new business models, market gaps, and skill shortages.

"These learnings will influence Trend Micro's cybersecurity solution planning across the company," the cybersecurity firm said in an announcement.

Establishing a separate venture capital unit also provides Trend Micro "additional freedom" to explore new areas of technology "without disrupting core business resources", the company said.

After 72 quarters of consecutive profitability, Trend Micro said it is "well-positioned" to invest in research and make advancements that are consistent with its corporate strategy.

Eva Chen, founder and CEO of Trend Micro, said connected devices are changing how the world works, thinks, and acts, adding that there is work to be done "to ensure organisations and individuals can operate and live safely in this new reality".

A recent study by the Ponemon Institute found that enterprises are not managing the risks associated with the IoT well, with many relying on legacy technologies and governance practices to mitigate security threats.

Nearly three quarters, or 72 percent, of the organisations surveyed by the research firm said the pace at which IoT technology is advancing is making it difficult to keep up with evolving security requirements.

Additionally, 78 percent believe data loss or theft enabled by IoT devices will likely occur within the next two years, while 76 percent believe a DDoS attack involving an unsecured IoT device is imminent within the same timeframe. Either incident would be catastrophic, according to 94 percent of respondents.

In recent months, there has been a wave of $100 million-plus investments in security firms looking to expand their capabilities to address the risks associated with IoT. Security firms such as Cybereason, Cylance, Crowdstrike, Illumio, Netskope, and Tanium have all recently raised at least $100 million.

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