Cybereason raises $100m from Softbank to address increasing IoT risks

The funding will be used to grow Cybereason's product line and teams, as well as to boost its presence in the EMEA and APAC regions.
Written by Tas Bindi, Contributor

Cybereason has announced that it has secured $100 million in Series D funding from Japanese technology giant Softbank.

The latest round brings the total amount raised by the Boston, Massachusetts-based company to $189 million, with previous investors including Charles River Ventures, Lockheed Martin, and Spark Capital.

Co-founder and CEO Lior Div said the new funding will enable Cybereason to expand its product line, talent base, and physical space in Boston and Tel Aviv. It will also allow the company to boost its presence in the EMEA and APAC markets.

"Our strengthened partnership with SoftBank, which has a formidable sales force and enterprise customer base in Japan and a global reach, will also enable us to further expand our presence in the cybersecurity market," Div added.

Founded in 2012 by Div, Yossi Naar, and Yonatan Striem-Amit, Cybereason's artificial intelligence-powered endpoint protection platform tracks hackers as they move through a network.

"Too much of the security industry focuses on building walls, but you can't build a big enough wall to keep the bad guys out. Adversaries can and will get into the environment, so we concentrate on what happens once they're in," Div, who previously served in the Israeli Intelligence Corps, told ZDNet.

"This is where we provide biggest value: We allow you to see a threat in your environment and quickly eliminate it. Our Deep Hunting Engine uses machine learning and behavioural analytics to ask over 8,000,000 questions per second, correlating data across every endpoint."

Div said the proliferation of IoT is creating an entirely new cybersecurity problem that requires an entirely new approach.

"Today, there are more electronic devices than people -- not only is everyone connected, but everything is connected. Because our physical and virtual worlds have merged, code can make both wonderful and horrible things happen in the 'real' world," he added.

"The data connected with smart refrigerators, cars, toaster ovens, and other devices with processing power, will be vulnerable to hacking.

"But as a company we are more than an endpoint detection and response company. We are already protecting entire network environments and in the future will move to protecting everything including IoT devices."

Cybereason claims it experienced 500 percent growth in revenue and nearly 200 percent growth in employees worldwide in 2016. It currently employs 300 staff across its Boston, London, Tel Aviv, and Tokyo offices.

The company also said it has more than 200 customers across the healthcare, banking, financial services, retail, higher education, government, pharmaceutical, and oil and gas industries, but counts Lockheed Martin, Motorola, and Softbank as its biggest customers.

Additionally, Div said that more than 300,000 small businesses and consumers are using Cybereason's free anti-ransomware tool RansomFree, launched six months ago.

Cybereason joins a wave of security firms to raise at least $100 million in the last few months, including Cylance, Crowdstrike, Illumio, Netskope, and Tanium.

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