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Hot security startups to watch

Tim Greene | June 8, 2016
Simulating attacks, defending the Internet of Things and keeping track of suspicious device reconfigurations are among technologies young companies are fleshing out.

While there’s talk that investment dollars for security startups are getting harder to find, entrepreneurs still manage to deliver a range of hardware, software and services that protect data, networks and corporate reputations.

This roundup of 13 such companies that we’re keeping an eye on runs the gamut from cloud security services to fraud prevention to protecting supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and Internet of Things devices.

These vendors clearly see the value of assessing the strength of network security architectures. Among them are four startups that simulate attacks against networks in order to test how well their defenses work and to help security staffers get the hang of what it’s like to get hit by a range of exploits and to hone their responses. AttackIQ, Cybric, SafeBreach and Verodin all have variations on this theme but all try to probe networks for vulnerabilities that could be strung together to create successful intrusions.

SCADA and IoT devices remain a concern because often they weren’t designed with security in mind and may be constrained by limited processor power and memory to support their own security. Two vendors – Indegy and ZingBox – are working on products that place defenses for these unprotected assets at the first network device they are attached to.

One common thread running through this group of vendors is a person – Israeli entrepreneur Shlomo Kramer. He’s a founder of Check Point Software and Imperva Networks, and is currently CEO of noteworthy startup Cato Networks, which provides a variety of security services in the cloud.

He’s also an investor in two other startups we’re watching – Indegy and SafeBreach.

Here’s the list of companies we’re keeping an eye on and why.

Arctic Wolf Networks

Headquarters: Waterloo, Canada
Founded:
2012
Funding:
$27.7 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners and Redpoint
Leaders:
 Brian NeSmith, former CEO of Blue Coat
Fun fact:
 One of the company’s security operations centers is in Waterloo to tap tech grads of because the University of Waterloo.

Why we’re following it: The SIEM as a Service model for the company is attractive to smaller enterprises that can’t afford similarly sophisticated defenses that are capable of reducing the number of security events to investigate. Cutting through the noise enables these customers to get by with fewer on-staff security pros, an increasingly scarce commodity.

AttackIQ

Headquarters: San Diego
Founded:
2013
Funding:
Supported by EvoNexus technology incubator
Leaders:
  CEO Stephan Chenette and Chief Archtect Rajesh Sharma
Fun fact:
 The cofounders are alumni of Websense but didn’t work there at the same time.

Why we’re following it: AttackIQ’s platform, FireDrill, continuously runs attack scenarios against customer networks to verify that defenses are performing as they were designed to. This can assure that unintentional holes aren’t left open for attackers to exploit.

 

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