Cyber security startup Hexadite, launched by three former Israeli intelligence officials, came out of stealth today and announced $2.5 million in seed funding. The money comes from YL Ventures with a contribution from former Microsoft Vice president Moshe Lichtman, a general partner at Israeli venture capital firm, Israel Growth Partners.
The company intends to automate the act of monitoring and understanding cyber threats as they happen.
How much is cyber security on the minds of CIOs these days? In May, at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, I heard the word “Target” (the store) used as a verb for the first time. CIOs were heard to say they don’t want to be “Targeted,” that is hit by a major breach as Target did at the end of last year.
CIOs are clearly worried about these types of attacks and they have every right to be. But Hexadite wants to get beyond pure detection and take the human element out of determining the veracity of an attack.
CEO Eran Barak says Hexadite is uniquely qualified to build a product like this because he and his partners came from a cybersecurity background in the military and private sector. In fact, all three company founders served in the Intelligence Corps in Israel working on cybersecurity issues.
Companies large and small suffer attacks all the time. Most larger entities have detection systems, but leave it to their staffs to determine whether the threat is real or not. This is where Hexadite comes in. After the detection system determines there is a threat, Hexadite, and not security staff, figures out if it’s real and then eradicates it if it is.
And given the number of times threats appear to be breaching the firewall in any given day, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for humans to keep up with even if a company has a dedicated staff to follow-up, which is not a given at every company.
Hexadite has developed a product to deal with this problem in an automated fashion they’ve dubbed the Automated Incident Response Solution (AIRS), which is designed to sit on top of a third party detection system, determine the veracity of the item detected and eradicate actual attacks.
Once the problem is found though, that’s when Hexadite goes into action. In fact, Hexadite claims that if it had been in place at Target, it would have detected the problem that led to the breach and been able to eradicate it before it had done any damage.
If that’s true, this is a product that should appeal to those CIOs who feel particularly vulnerable in light of last year’s highly public Target breach. Of course, Target is hardly alone with this problem. It’s just one that got a high profile because of the scope of the problem.
If this product truly works as described, it could be music to the ears of weary CIOs. For now, Hexadite is working with several large Beta enterprise customers, but they hope to use their seed money to expand the company further moving forward.