Report from World’s Leading Cyberpsychologist and Paladin Advisor Professor Mary Aiken Identifies Significant Opportunity in Solutions and Technology Designed to Promote Safer Online User Experiences
Washington DC, Jan. 12, 2022 – Paladin Capital Group, a cyber and advanced technology investor just released the first-ever report and analysis of America’s emerging online safety technology sector.’ Based on research undertaken by world-renowned cyberpsychologist Professor Mary Aiken, the report finds that over $1 billion has been raised in external investment toward “Safety Tech,” which aims to deliver safer online experiences by protecting users from harmful content, contact, and conduct on the Internet. Innovation in Safety Tech has the potential to protect people from online harm facilitated through technology, from harassment and targeted abuse to misinformation and hate speech.
Paladin’s report reveals that the U.S. now has a large and fast-growing Safety Tech industry, which includes 8,800 safety-tech professionals spread across more than 160 dedicated online safety technology businesses, up from less than 100 businesses only five years ago. In 2020 alone, Safety Tech firms raised almost a quarter of a billion dollars in new investment.
“Online threats have evolved beyond code vulnerabilities, and there’s new and increasing need to protect the human component of cyber space,” said Mike Steed, Founder and Managing Partner of Paladin Capital, which has specialized in investing in technological solutions that make infrastructure, businesses and society safer. “Our country’s adversaries are waging conflicts and sowing public distrust at the human level through online harassment, misinformation and deception. But the good news is there’s a growing market for solutions that address these risks and multifold opportunities for investors like Paladin, tech platforms, entrepreneurs, and policymakers to get behind these solutions.”
As online platforms have grown significantly in recent years, cyber companies have turned to Safety Tech solutions to protect users against dangers through applications that include parental controls, AI programs that monitor abuse and harassment on online forums, organizations using threat and cyber fraud intelligence, technologies that help to safeguard election integrity and news-monitoring algorithms that flag foreign disinformation campaigns. The report highlights a taxonomy of Safety Tech solutions operating at system, platform and endpoint levels, as well as in the information environment. The report also takes into account “cyber-physical” solutions, which are companies that leverage technologies to protect people in the physical world, such as by detecting and alerting law enforcement to gun violence.
“We have found evidence of a growing and thriving Safety Tech sector in the United States, which delivers solutions to protect people from psychological risks, criminal dangers and online harm,” said Professor Mary Aiken, who is Paladin’s Strategic Advisor and principal investigator for this report, as well as an Academic Advisor to Europol and Interpol. “The urgency of these innovations has never been greater, as users seek protection from the corrosive effects of misinformation, online harassment, discrimination and extremism which increasingly threaten democracy and civil society. Used in conjunction with cybersecurity tools, Safety Tech provides tech solutions to tech facilitated criminal and harmful behavior online and gives us the opportunity to create a safer and more secure Internet for all.”
The full report is available here.
ABOUT PALADIN CAPITAL GROUP
Paladin Capital Group was founded in 2001 and has offices in Washington DC, New York, London, Luxembourg, and Silicon Valley. As a multi-stage investor, Paladin focuses on companies with technologies, products, and services that meet the challenging global cyber security and digital infrastructure resilience needs for commercial and government customers. Follow the firm on Twitter @Paladincap and visit www.paladincapgroup.com.
ABOUT PROFESSOR MARY AIKEN
Professor Mary Aiken PhD is a world-leading expert in Cyberpsychology – the study of the impact of technology on human behavior. She is Professor of Cyberpsychology and Chair of the Department of Cyberpsychology at Capitol Technology University, Washington D.C.’s premier STEM University. Mary is a Professor of Forensic Cyberpsychology at the University of East London and an Adjunct Professor at the Geary Institute for Public Policy University College Dublin. She is a Member of the INTERPOL Global Cybercrime Expert Group and an Academic Advisor to the European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3) at Europol, a Fellow of The Royal Society of Medicine, member of the Medico-Legal Society and an International Affiliate Member of the American Psychological Association (APA). Mary is a Global Fellow at the Washington DC Wilson Center, a leading worldwide think tank and a Fellow of the Society for Chartered IT Professionals. Professor Mary Aiken is recognized as an international expert in policy debates at the intersection of technology and human behavior.