Cybersecurity stocks are hot and Bessemer (BVP) is taking notice. The VC fund created the BVP Cyber Index, which lists 29 public companies whose principal business is IT security. 16 of them have a market cap of $1b or more. Every time major data breach strikes a well-known company, cybersecurity stocks outperform the public markets by about 5x.
“Hackers continue to move the needle,” Sunil James, a cybersecurity investor at BVP and alum of Google GOOG -5.17% , Amazon AMZN -1.73% , and Mandiant, told Fortune on a call. He said he believes that entrenched security companies often have a hard time coping with the latest attacks, so they lean on acquisitions to stay ahead. “Often you don’t find bleeding-edge capabilities in their tool kits just yet—that’s why they buy companies.” The prospect of such exits coupled with heightened fears about hacking has made cybersecurity an attractive sector for venture capital dollars in recent years. Recently, though, there has been a notable chilling in the industry, and earlier stage companies have had more difficult time raising funding (a predication that Fortune made at the end of last year).