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Courtesy of LogRhythm

New West Daily Roundup for Aug. 30, 2016

Today in New West news: LogRhythm nets $50M in capital, Montana Gov. declares state of emergency over Yellowstone River, and Utah’s office of tourism director wins national leadership award.

According to the Denver Post, Boulder-based cybersecurity firm LogRhythm has raised $50 million from investors, in a new round led by Riverwood Capital Management, the company’s largest shareholder. Riverwood led a $40M round for the firm two years ago. Riverwood founding partner Jeff Parks told the Post he believes in LogRhythm’s business model and is willing to stake even more money to see the company flourish:

“In my world, when you’ve got a winner on your hands and the capital to put into the space, you take it,” Parks said. “The market they address is quite sizable and growing and the company is very well-positioned. It really is one of the top technology companies in the Denver-Boulder area.”

LogRhythm, which started in 2003, collects data from a corporation’s existing security programs and analyzes the data into a user-friendly dashboard that prioritizes threats. That appeals to very large companies with aging systems, and to mid-sized companies that don’t have a large security staff monitoring — and understanding — every single intrusion.

While LogRhythm has grown rapidly — it has doubled its staff in two years to 600 people— the time wasn’t quite right to go public, CEO Andy Grolnick said.

“We saw an opportunity to double down on growth and our presence worldwide. That’s why we’re pursuing this route,” Grolnick said. “There’s a lot of demand and growth (for cybersecurity solutions) but the next layer of the onion, there’s a real shift going on as organizations really recognize the need to get investment on more of a prevention approach and invest more on analytics-based technology. For LogRhythm, that’s our wheelhouse.”

The threat detection and response market is projected to reach $23 billion in spending by 2020, according to market researcher Gartner. The new funding lets LogRhythm grow its team in Europe and with a new investor in Asia, it plans to expand in those regions. It also lets the company remain independent in a competitive field that includes IBM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Intel.

This security niche is specifically known as SIEM, short for security information and event management. The potential growth for the space had the three giants buying SIEMs in recent years with HPE acquiring ArcSight for $1.5 billion in 2010, IBM buying Q1 Labs in 2011 and Intel’s McAfee group buying NitroSecurity in 2011.

Still, the smaller LogRhythm is a major contender for any large business user when it comes to investing in cybersecurity management, said Scott Crawford, an information security analyst at 451 Research.

“LogRhythm is often on an enterprise’s shortlist,” Crawford said. “One of the things that really stands out about LogRhythm is the user experience. It’s fairly intuitive and easily adapted to the customers’ environment.”

And by staying independent, he added, “LogRhythm has been able to stay fairly agile.”

Up in Montana, Governor Steve Bullock has declared a state of emergency over the Yellowstone river closure, which happened after a fish parasite killed thousands of whitefish. According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the declaration will free up $15.4 million in emergency funds, accessible to workers and businesses affected by the river’s closure in the form of unemployment insurance, retraining programs and planning grants. Patricia Dowd, one of the governor’s natural resource policy advisers, made the announcement Monday. From the Chronicle:

The governor’s emergency declaration allows the state to dip into a $16 million fund to offer assistance to people out of work or who have lost money because of the river closure. About $600,000 from that fund has already been spent in response to a heavy winter storm along Montana’s Hi-Line and a tornado in eastern Montana.

How much is spent from the fund depends on how many people are able to access the money, which may be tricky. Unemployment insurance, for example, might not be available to fishing guides who work as independent contractors.

For workers to be eligible, they have to work in a job where their employer pays payroll taxes — which might not be the case for all independent guides. But if they work seasonally at another job that does pay those taxes throughout the year and quit to guide in the summer, they may qualify for some benefits.

Paul Martin, who works in unemployment insurance claims processing for the Montana Department of Labor, said people won’t know if they qualify unless they apply because each individual case is so different.

“It’s like snowflakes,” Martin said.

Some at the meeting on Monday said they weren’t interested in being retrained, and others said they would probably try for a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration — which is federal money, not state — to keep their doors open into the next year.

“I think I’m looking at a small business loan,” said Jim Kahl, the co-owner of River Source Rafting Company north of Gardiner.

In the meantime, according to the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks agency, recent testing in parts of the upper Yellowstone has revealed, “fewer dead fish and less disease have been observed recently, but crews are continuing to perform surveys.” At this time, there is “no set criteria” for reopening the river, with officials saying the closure is a “fluid situation.” The agency stressed that while the parasite does a number to fish, it is largely harmless to humans, birds, dogs, and other mammals. The biggest risk comes from animals eating decomposed fish near the river’s edge.

Finally, down in Utah, according to Utah Business, the state’s Office of Tourism, Film and Global Branding Director Vicki Varela has been named “National State Tourism Director of the Year” by the U.S. Travel Association. Varela, who assumed the role in 2013, has spearheaded several successful campaigns, including the “Road To Mighty” ad blitz. From Utah Business:

“Utah’s unprecedented growth and success in tourism is due to Vicki’s dynamic leadership,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “She has done a remarkable job of rallying the tourism industry and inviting the world to experience Utah. Those efforts generate nearly $1.1 billion annually in state and local taxes.”

Varela was announced as the award recipient before more than 800 of her peers at the U.S. Travel Association’s annual Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) conference, held this year in Boca Raton, Fla. The U.S. Travel Association’s National Council of State Tourism Directors—a body representing the tourism offices of all 50 states and U.S. territories—votes on the award annually ahead of ESTO, the premier annual ideas exchange for destination marketing professionals.

“Vicki Varela has helped attract thousands of additional visitors to Utah through a variety of successful campaigns, and this award is an acknowledgement of her years of outstanding work,” Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO, said. “Her leadership and destination marketing acumen have made her an incredibly respected representative of the state tourism sector among her peers and her incredibly effective advocacy for the travel industry has greatly benefited not just the people of Utah, but our nation’s economy as a whole.”

Besides the “Road to Mighty” campaign, Valera also spearheaded “The Yellowstone Loop” marketing plan, aimed at creating a travel corridor between Salt Lake City International Airport and Yellowstone National Park—through Idaho and Wyoming, of course.

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