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Cybersecurity investing, featuring Matt Goldstein of M12

Digitization of the physical world brings new synergies and expanding attack surfaces – so it is key to invest in those who defend us.

Probing the cybersecurity of 3D printing, scaling the digital transformation of manufacturing, and developing quantum-safe encryption for the next evolution of the Internet, Matt Goldstein, Managing Director at M12, Microsoft’s Venture Fund, shares with us the criticality of investing in companies exploring the frontiers of cybersecurity and infrastructure.

“No one thinks their front door lock is obnoxious,” shares Goldstein, yet there remains a consumer hurdle in adopting baseline cybersecurity practices such as updating software, avoiding password reuse, and leveraging multi-factor authentication. Fear-mongering is one approach, but also “it’s up to us both as cybersecurity practitioners – call them lockbuilders – as well as the homebuilders, the application builders, to make their solutions and products inherently more secure and inherently less attractive to attackers,” tells Goldstein. 

Also discussed is Goldstein’s path from being a “bad software developer” to venture capital, including the workings of M12, its relationship with Microsoft, and ever-present opportunities for value creation among security startups. “Cybersecurity will never be solved. It is a fundamentally asymmetric problem. The economic incentives of attackers to get incredibly creative match the economic incentives of defenders to find newer and better creative solutions to their attacks.”

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