Malicious hacking has become a pernicious and dogged fact of life for more organizations, and it's a threat that has seemingly grown more complicated and sophisticated over time. One effective approach to tackling that has been collaboration: not just applying an array of services to address the issue, but creating environments to help those building cybersecurity to work better together. Today one of the startups building tools to do just that is announcing a round of funding, underscoring the opportunity and its own growth within that.
Cyware, a New York startup that has created a platform for organizations to build and operate virtual "cyber fusion centers" -- spaces for people to share threat intelligence, run end-to-end security automation and orchestrate and execute 360-degree threat responses -- has picked up $30 million in funding, a Series B that it will use to continue growing its business.
The funding is being co-led by Advent International and Ten Eleven Ventures. Advent made some waves in the cybersecurity industry last year when it partnered with Crosspoint to acquire Forescout for $1.9 billion. Ten Eleven, meanwhile, is a VC that specializes in cybersecurity startups. Prelude Fund (the venture practice at Mercato Partners), Emerald Development Managers, Great Road Holdings and cloud security firm Zscaler -- a mix of financial and strategic investors -- also participated. Before this, the startup had raised around $13 million, and it is not disclosing its valuation.
The story of the last year in the world of business has been about how everything has gone online: people and their companies have been working remotely; consumers are browsing, buying and entertaining themselves over the internet and with apps. Digital is where all the traffic is.
Unsurprisingly that has also played out in the world of cybersecurity: the threat landscape has grown, and so cybersecurity responses have grown with them. Cyware said that in the last year it saw 120% year-over-year growth in annual recurring revenue -- although it doesn't disclose actual revenue figures. Its customers are a mix of large enterprises, but also those that both collaborate with others to manage cybersecurity, such as information sharing communities (ISACs), as well as organizations that manage cybersecurity on behalf of a number of others, such as managed security service providers and computer emergency response teams.
Although many might have in their heads a stereotype of a malicious hacker who sits alone in a darkened room with a determined look in his/her eye, the reality is more likely to be a collaboration between a number of people, providing tips, technology and threads that are developed, and so on. Cyware, in its focus on providing a platform for collaboration and creating operations centers, seems to take the same approach in what it has built, a platform to make collaborating easier and part of the solution.
It does so through security orchestration, automation and response (known as SOAR), used by teams to collaborate better and make more informed threat scoring, and to respond better to threat alerts. Indeed, a key part of the challenge for a lot of security services is that they cross multiple parts of organizations, including IT, compliance, trust and safety, and indeed security itself. One aim of Cyware is to create a platform for these all to meet and exchange information that could be helpful to others in one place.
“Over the past decade, security operations teams have had difficulty with trying to sift through copious amounts of threat data and lacked the humans’ role as part of their security orchestration strategies,” said Anuj Goel, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Cyware, in a statement. “Our goal with our Virtual Cyber Fusion platform is to help our customers unite their security teams to efficiently respond to high-priority threats by connecting the dots in their environments, and the momentum we’re experiencing is proof that we are executing on that mission. This Series B financing will help us continue to overdeliver for customers, expand our team, improve our platform and truly revolutionize how security operations and threat intelligence teams work together.”
Goel, who co-founded the company with CTO Akshat Jain, cut his teeth in a big security team, as head of global cyber strategy for Citi. He is also an advisor for the Centre for Strategic Cyberspace in London and has worked with other organizations on collaborative approaches to the problem and consequences of malicious hacking.
Investors will have not just been looking at the company's growth, but also the list of customers -- themselves also leaders in cyber -- that are trusting Cyware.
“In our increasingly connected environment, companies of all sizes are demanding new and innovative cybersecurity solutions,” said Eric Noeth, principal, Advent International, in a statement. “Cyware’s early traction among leading enterprises and major ISACs reflects its unique ability to bring together all key security functions to seamlessly anticipate, contextualize and remediate threats. We look forward to drawing on our experience in this sector to help the talented Cyware team make its Virtual Cyber Fusion platform the gold standard technology for enterprises around the world.”