Stepan Chernovetskyi: “Cybersecurity is among technological priorities and we carefully study its potential”.


Following the 5th Startup Nation on cybersecurity, Stepan Chernovetskyi, the owner of Chernovetskyi Investment Group, evaluates the cybersecurity market, talks about its main challenges and trends, and shares his personal code of conduct online on

Modern life has seemingly moved online. Personal photos are now stored in the family albums on social media, remote access to corporate mail and cloud services have become mundane. Progressive online infiltration exposes our vulnerability to cybercrimes.

In 2018, multiple large scandals surrounding personal data protection erupted. Stories of Facebook data leaks dominated one news cycle after the other, and a serious blow to its reputation forced the company to acquire a startup specializing in information security. Davos World Economic Forum named cybercrime among four main global threats in 2019. The Forum estimated that by 2022, the global economy could suffer up to $8 trillion in losses due to cybercrime.

In this context, the forecasted growth in the cybersecurity market that I discussed with my analysts seems fitting. By 2023, the market is predicted to reach $248.3 billion, $100 billion more than in 2018.

I’m curious to see how the market tackles this challenge. In addition to routine anti-viruses and firewalls, companies are now introducing two-factor authentication tools, penetration tests and other innovative techniques. Ultimately, it is cheaper for corporations to invest in data protection than to cover damages from data breaches. Therefore, unlike in the early 2000’s when cybersecurity funding was not given priority, now the cybersecurity “gene” is being introduced into every process and device.

But admit it, unless you are Mark Zuckerberg, it can be hard to safeguard the security of your online life as sternly as the security of own home.

My personal list of the basic rules of online hygiene is far from unique and requires just a little diligence (and, if you are trying to engage the whole family, a little patience):

• Use strong passwords and change them as often as possible. If you have had the same password for all your accounts for the last five years, change it right now.

• Be careful with public Internet access points and shared computers — do not transfer personal information and remember to log out. Basically, just keep your online banking at home.

• Use two-factor authentication wherever possible. Google, like many other services, allows you to link your account to a phone number or another email.

• Regularly back up your data. Buy a subscription to a reliable cloud service — two dollars a month will sustain practically all the pictures from the kids’ recitals.

• Evaluate and reduce your digital footprint: delete old emails, social media accounts and outdated personal information. It is better to post pictures from ten years ago voluntarily in an online challenge. Or not at all.

• Shop safely — only on reliable websites and with data encryption pages.

• Well, and the classic rule of thumb – do not respond to Nigerian princes. Better spend your money on a cloud service (see above).

Cybersecurity is among technological priorities and we carefully study its potential. For investors, it is a high-risk, high-reward market: a project usually requires substantial upfront investments but the returns can multiply. The main issue from where I stand is the lack of qualified professionals, so the demand will exceed the supply soon. We also expect considerable regulatory changes in this area. The companies on the European market have already experienced this trying to adjust their operations to new and highly complicated legislation on data protection (GDPR).

The Economist estimates that personal data will become the main asset for the majority of people in the 21st century. Protection of one’s assets is not only a thriving market, but also just common sense and everyone’s personal duty.