Momentum is building in the middle market, and dealmakers are predicting that 2017 will be a good year for M&A. Innovations in technology and shifts in consumer populations all over the world promise to drive private equity investment in these seven subsectors: cybersecurity tools; cloud-computing services; medical devices; specialty chemicals for agriculture; packaging for consumer goods; construction materials; and aircraft parts and services.

The threat of cyberattacks really can’t be underestimated, as recent events have demonstrated, such as the breach of 500 million Yahoo accounts; the widespread outages of websites resulting from denial-of-service-attacks on Internet infrastructure provider Dyn,now being acquired by Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL). Companies offering protection have become highly sought targets for acquisition. Among the firms expected to continue snatching up cybersecurity providers are the Chertoff Group, Thoma Bravo, TPG and Vista Equity Partners.

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