Israeli industrial hackers raise $100m for cybersecurity

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

A group of ethical hackers based in Israel has raised $100m to test out the cybersecurity vulnerabilities of industrial systems.

CYE launches non-simulated attacks on infrastructure to highlight vulnerabilities. This is of increasing importance as there has been a surge in security breaches despite an explosion in the number of cybersecurity solutions introduced to the market, and concurrently, a significant increase in corporate security budgets.

The funding came from Stockholm-based global investment organization EQT, with participation from existing investor, 83North. The investment is EQT’s first in an Israeli company.

Following a US-CERT advisory last month, the maker of a software-based programmable logic controller (PLC)  that is used widely among companies in the power generation and manufacturing sector, released a warning regarding successful exploitation of discovered vulnerabilities that could enable an adversary to start/stop services, execute malicious codes remotely, and/or limit system availability.

In general, standalone hardware-based PLCs are often not designed with security in mind but do benefit from the relative obscurity of running on proprietary OT protocols says CYE. As these software-based PLCs runs on Windows machines, their potential exposure to cyber threats is much greater than any IT connected devices. The new PLC Agents are designed to manage PLC software based on user commands which are received from the monitor, however, under wrong circumstances, it could be manipulated by an attacker via external remote connections says the group.

Hyver, CYE’s flagship product, uses advanced algorithms and graph modeling to conduct a comprehensive and accurate cybersecurity assessment, covering the entire organization, as well as third-party vendors. Highly experienced ‘red teams’ then perform real non-simulated attacks, allowing CYE to accurately predict possible attack routes, giving customers the ability to prevent such attacks before they occur, as well as the knowledge of where resources need to be invested. 

Next: Cybersecurity analysis 

“As hackers increasingly deliver devastating attacks, causing millions of dollars in lost revenue and productivity, CEOs of global companies have come to understand that accurately assessing cyber risk begins with them,” said Reuven Aronashvili, Founder and CEO of CYE. “We are well past the point where companies can limit cyber threats to one department. Today’s attacks can hit the core of any business, essentially crippling the company.”

In addition to working with EQT and many of its portfolio companies, CYE’s customers include global tier-one and Fortune 500 companies. EQT has €84bn in raised capital and over €52bn in assets under management across 17 active funds.

“The backing of CYE marks EQT’s first deal in Israel, which is a highly attractive market for technology investments, and a country in which EQT intends to increase its activity going forward,” said Florian Funk, Partner at EQT.

“We have followed CYE’s development closely over the years and we are truly impressed with the company Reuven and his team have built to date. Their approach of pairing AI-based technology, services and cyber expertise is unique in the marketplace and well-positioned for continued accelerated growth. We are proud to support CYE with both capital and competence as this investment aligns perfectly with EQT’s thematic investment focus and ambition to back high growth companies by partnering with world-class management teams. We are excited to embark on this journey of building a global cybersecurity champion together.”

“In my experience, I have come to learn that you don’t invest in companies, you invest in people. CYE’s team is one of the most outstanding I have ever worked with. They combine an innovative and bold vision with stellar execution capabilities,” said Yoram Snir, Partner at 83North. “CYE is transforming the multi-billion dollar market of enterprise cybersecurity and we believe they are well on their way to becoming the market leader.”;;

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