Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning , Events , Next-Generation Technologies & Secure Development

AI in Cybersecurity Investing: Opportunities and Risks

Thoma Bravo's Andrew Almeida on AI Integration, Portfolio Growth and Acquisitions
Andrew Almeida, partner, Thoma Bravo

Artificial intelligence plays a crucial role when evaluating potential investment targets. Thoma Bravo, a key player in cybersecurity investments, recognizes AI's pivotal role in enhancing cybersecurity measures and ensuring business resilience, said Andrew Almeida, partner, Thoma Bravo.

See Also: Why the Future of Security Is Identity

Almeida stressed the importance of portfolio companies establishing a road map for incorporating AI into their products and monetizing it, while also acknowledging the potential threats that generative AI can pose to customers. Using technologies such as natural language processing, Thoma Bravo's portfolio of companies is making cybersecurity platforms more accessible and intuitive for both technical and nontechnical users, he said.

"We have been doing this with natural language processing for some years - making our software platforms more conversational with users. If a CEO wants to know something about their business, they can just go to a platform and type that in - whether it's their HR system or their finance system - to see how their revenue is doing," Almeida said. "And for cybersecurity, it's being able to use your cybersecurity platforms and converse with them too: Who's getting attacked the most? What can I do to stop them? Show me the last five phishing emails that we've gotten. How many times has this person clicked on a malicious link?"

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group at RSA Conference 2024, Almeida also discussed:

  • Why traditional cybersecurity processes require the integration of machine learning;
  • How to address compliance challenges in highly regulated industries such as finance and healthcare;
  • The implications of Thoma Bravo's acquisition of Darktrace.

At Thoma Bravo, Almeida focuses on supporting and growing the firm's leading cybersecurity practice. Prior to joining Thoma Bravo, he worked in investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

About the Author

Michael Novinson

Michael Novinson

Managing Editor, Business, ISMG

Novinson is responsible for covering the vendor and technology landscape. Prior to joining ISMG, he spent four and a half years covering all the major cybersecurity vendors at CRN, with a focus on their programs and offerings for IT service providers. He was recognized for his breaking news coverage of the August 2019 coordinated ransomware attack against local governments in Texas as well as for his continued reporting around the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 and early 2021.

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