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Cybersecurity

In cyber attack age, this Australian data security company grows Reston offices

Data security company Covata says having offices close to D.C. is key in their industry.

On Monday, data security company Covata, with offices in Reston, announced an investment of roughly $5 million from finance giant Fidelity International. And its D.C.-area offices are an “important” part of the Australian-born company as it aims to do more government work in the age of data breaches and cyber attacks.
Covata has created a platform and a product, both with a data-first approach to security that aims to protect your information wherever it is. The company’s patented technology “combines encryption, plus policy, plus identity to create a holistic approach to security,” Covata vice president of growth Nikki Parker told Technical.ly.
This latest news comes on the heels of other company milestones — its expansion to offices in San Francisco and the signing of a 10-year licensing agreement with Cisco. The new investment rounds out “a strong first year as a public company,” in the words of Covata founder and CEO Trent Telford.
Covata launched in Australia eight years ago, and has a history of working with the Australian government. In 2012, the company opened an office in Reston, with the goal of becoming a key security service provider to the U.S. government as well. Though Parker could not comment on any deals in the works, she said Chuck Archer, Covata’s chairman and a former assistant director of the FBI, is leading talks between Covata and the government.
“You see a different level of sophisticated conversation” about data security here in D.C., Parker said, as well as access to important people and opportunities. While online security is quickly becoming a hotter topic in wider circles, Parker said D.C. is a great place to have a company like Covata.
“We think that the D.C. office will remain an important hub to get involved in the government conversations over here in the U.S., whereas the San Francisco office will really be to drive that enterprise focus,” Parker said.
Under the terms of the agreement, the company will issue 34,741,613 fully paid ordinary shares to Fidelity International at a price of A$0.20 per share (yup, that’s 20 Australian cents per share).
As interest in data security grows, both within the government and in private-sector circles, Parker points to Covata’s experience as its strategic advantage.
“Covata has been around for eight years. We have the experience with government agencies. And that’s what businesses really need to be thinking about when they go look for security solutions,” said Parker. “It’s not something where you can just take the newest application off the shelf.”

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