Norwest Venture Partners to Spend $1.2B on Security Startups

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Security is big business with companies spending $66 billion on making their systems less vulnerable to hacking, so it makes sense that venture capitalists are looking for promising security startups. Norwest Venture Partners has a $1.2 billion fund specifically earmarked for mobile, cloud and enterprise apps and companies.

"We're under a relentless attack,"  Norwest Venture Partners managing partner Matt Howard told Press:Here. "It took a general to convince everyone to wear seatbelts, so right now it's going to take a generation to educate the consumer and enterprise to have more awareness (of security)."

Howard said that right now few people even use  security measures like a password on their own mobile phones. However, companies are trying to keep up with the cybercriminals in a computer security arms race. The new hackers, usually from the former Soviet Union, are often computer scientists with solid technological backgrounds.

"Cybercrime pays," Howard said. "I've seen estimates as high as a $1 trillion effect on the economy."

Computer security has also risen. In 2013, companies and  individuals paid $66 billion to safeguard their information -- about four times faster than overall IT spending. That's likely the reason that venture capitalists are watching the security arena with much more interest.

Security apps and services can also protect users from being tracked by the U.S. government. "I think there are enough tools out there to give you awareness and reporting encryption," Howard said.

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