Mergers and acquisitions.
TELEO Capital Management has acquired Massachusetts-based industrial control systems cybersecurity company Industrial Defender from Capgemini America for an undisclosed amount. Joseph Roark, Industrial Defender's Chairman and TELEO's Operating Partner, stated that the "transaction will allow the Industrial Defender team to operate independently with TELEO's capital and operational support....Industrial Defender will be a platform where additional growth through both organic and acquisitive investment will position the company to deliver to its blue-chip customers the best products and services in their served markets."
San Francisco-based cyber insurance provider Coalition has acquired Switzerland-based IoT search engine company BinaryEdge for an undisclosed amount, Computing reports. Coalition is offering BinaryEdge's platform to its customers for free. It's press release states that "[e]ffective immediately, Coalition is using BinaryEdge's Internet scanning technology to continuously monitor the over 10,000 and growing organizations that have selected Coalition as their insurance provider." Coalition's CEO Joshua Motta added that "[w]hile most insurers only respond after an incident, Coalition is now uniquely positioned to provide organizations with the data and tools they need to prevent and mitigate losses before they occur."
CFC, another cyber insurance business, has purchased London-based cyber risk intelligence company ThreatInformer, according to Insurance Age. CFC will integrate ThreatInformer's technology into its own offerings in order to facilitate the underwriting process.
Investments and exits.
San Francisco-based identity verification startup Persona has raised $17.5 million in a Series A round. The company's press release names Coatue and First Round Capital as two of the investment firms that participated in the round.
San Jose, California-based privacy compliance automation company Securiti.ai has secured $50 million in a Series B funding round led by General Catalyst, with participation from Mayfield, TechCrunch reports. General Catalyst's Managing Director Dr. Steve Herrod said in a statement that "Privacy of personal information is of growing concern across the globe, and SECURITI.ai is very well-positioned to help companies properly provide this privacy and comply with increasing regulations."
India-based IT consulting company Infosys has sold its stake in Danish artificial intelligence startup UNSILO for $800,000 (about ₹5.7 crore), according to Livemint. Infosys had invested around ₹14.5 crore in the startup in 2016.
San Francisco-based security management and compliance company AppOmni has secured $10 million in a Series A round led by ClearSky, with participation from new investor Inner Loop Capital and existing investors Costanoa Ventures, Silicon Valley Data Capital, and Twilio’s COO George Hu. AppOmni's press release states that it "will use the funding to accelerate sales and marketing operations, and bolster the startup’s product development teams at both their corporate headquarters in San Francisco and their Innovation Center in Carbondale, Colorado."
Jerusalem-based predictive vulnerability management startup Vicarius has raised $5 million in a seed funding round led by Jerusalem Venture Partners, with participation from innogy Innovation Hub and Goldbell Group, Tech.eu reports. Vicarius will use the funding to expand its offices in Tel Aviv and New York, and to make its technology relevant to more industries.
Sunnyvale, California-based hybrid cloud security company CloudKnox Security has raised $12 million in a funding round led by Sorenson Ventures, with participation from existing investors ClearSky Security, Dell Technologies Capital, and Foundation Capital. CloudKnox says it will use the funding "to further accelerate the company’s product and go-to-market plans."
Facebook's vice president of engineering and infrastructure Jay Parikh is leaving the company after ten years. In a cordial Facebook post, Parikh said he'll "be focused on the transition for the next few months" and that he "[doesn’t] have any immediate plans thereafter."
Endpoint security company SentinelOne has hired Daniel Kollberg as vice president of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, CRN reports. Kollberg was previously vice president of Palo Alto Networks's EMEA Service Providers.
Identity and access management firm ForgeRock has appointed David Hope as senior vice president for Asia-Pacific and Japan. Hope was most recently president of Asia-Pacific at Workday.
Bot mitigation firm White Ops has retained Dr. Russell Handorf as Principal Threat Intelligence Hacker. Handorf previously worked for ten years as a computer scientist for the FBI.
Identity and access management provider SecureAuth has hired Bil Harmer as its new CISO and chief evangelist. Harmer most recently served as CISO-Americas at Zscaler.
IoT data access and management company Lantronix has appointed Roger Holliday as vice president of Worldwide Sales. Holliday previously worked as executive vice president at Microsemi Corporation.
Security companies in the news.
A joint investigation by Motherboard and PCMag has found that antivirus company Avast is selling plentiful amounts of anonymized user data to major companies and advertisers through its Jumpshot subsidiary. According to Motherboard, these data include "Google searches, lookups of locations and GPS coordinates on Google Maps, people visiting companies' LinkedIn pages, particular YouTube videos, and people visiting porn websites." While the data are anonymized, the scope of data collected is extensive enough that some users could most likely be identified.
Bloomberg reports that the spyware industry continues to expand in spite of widespread negative public perception stemming from allegations of abuse. Bloomberg quotes Eric Kind, director of London-based data rights law firm AWO, as noting that "Ten years ago, there were just a few companies. Now there are 20 or more, aggressively pitching their stuff at trade shows around the world." In addition to well-known spyware vendors like Israel's NSO Group and Italy's Hacking Team, Bloomberg identified India’s ClearTrail Technologies, Israel’s Wintego Systems Ltd. and MerlinX, France’s Nexa Technologies, SS8 Networks in California, and "at least a dozen other companies that appear to sell similar technology." The sector is largely unregulated and provides governments with extremely useful and convenient tools for both legitimate and illegitimate uses, so demand for the industry's products appears to be generally unaffected by news that certain governments have misused the tools.
SCVX, the first cybersecurity-focused Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), announced a $200 million IPO on Friday, January 24th. The company's press release states its intent "to focus on businesses in the cybersecurity industry globally with enterprise valuations in the range of $600 million to $1.5 billion." SCVX's founders Hank Thomas and Mike Doniger told the CyberWire that their ideal target company is one "where the founder wants to maintain control, is excited about buying new companies in the space, believes that they have a technology that is scalable and can be plugged into with other different technologies...and wants to go now, believes the opportunity is now." They'll be attending RSA in February to scope out potential candidates, after which they'll head to Israel.
Where business is done.
CTech reports that Massachusetts and Israel-based privileged account security company CyberArk is opening a research and development center in Be’er Sheva, Israel, next to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The R&D center will initially be staffed by twenty employees when it opens in April, and will eventually be expanded to house one hundred employees.
And security innovation.
The Baltimore Business Journal reports that Gula Tech Adventures is hosting a cyber pitch competition on April 21st, 2020, in Columbia, Maryland, and the winner will receive a $150,000 investment. According to the firm's website, "CyberQuest 2020" is open to startups that offer software or SaaS products focused on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, cloud, virtual reality, or automation, and "100% of the start-up executive team must be based in the USA."
Ryerson University's Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst is partnering with Toronto-based tech accelerator DMZ to launch the Catalyst Cyber Accelerator, a commercial accelerator for Canadian cybersecurity startups. The program is now accepting applications for its first cohort, according to MobileSyrup.