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Connected car security outfit Upstream Security snags $9 million in funding

The company wants to use the cash to expand in the US and Europe.

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Upstream Security cofounders, Yoav Levy and Yonatan Appel

Upstream

Upstream Security has secured $9 million in a Series A funding round and plans to use the investment to expand further in the US and Europe.

On Wednesday, the company said in a statement that the funding round, led by Charles River Ventures (CRV), includes cash injections from Israeli-based Glilot Capital Partners and Maniv Mobility.

The funding builds on a successful seed funding round in June which secured $2 million.

Israel-based Upstream Security offers cloud-based security solutions for connected cars to automakers which need to outsource the security aspect of such technologies.

The firm uses Big Data, analytics, and machine learning to provide non-intrusive defense against cyberattacks and to detect anomalies which may be malicious behavior.

Research firm Gartner predicts that there will be up to 250 million connected vehicles on our roads by 2020. Should this be the case, there will also be 250 million new vehicles potentially open to compromise, tampering, and data theft unless security is managed properly.

Connected car security has already begun to pose a problem. While it takes a particularly vile cyberattacker to tamper with something that can threaten human life, it is still possible and may also be a means to steal cars -- as we've seen with hacked jeeps and companies including Chrysler which has been forced to recall millions of vehicles at risk of remote exploit.

Upstream Security plans to use the cash to improve its research and development program to prevent these situations occurring, build out its engineering and security research teams, as well as open new marketing and sales offices in the US and Europe.

See also: MoneyTaker hacking group steals millions from US, UK, Russian banks

"Connected and semi-autonomous cars are already a reality, so it's a matter of 'when' not 'if' these self-driving technologies will be deployed at scale," said Izhar Armony, general partner at CRV. "Upstream's engineers were the first to solve how to protect connected cars and autonomous vehicles using the cloud, crucial for near-term and future deployment of automotive cybersecurity at the fleet level."

"We believe in Upstream's groundbreaking approach to secure connected and autonomous vehicles and in the abilities of cybersecurity veterans, Yoav Levy and Yonatan Appel, to build a rapidly growing business in this hot, emerging space," the executive added.

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