As connected devices find their way into large-scale industrial applications – what’s often called IIoT, or Industrial Internet of Things – the need to safeguard those networks becomes more imperative. If you’re, say, a large automotive company running a bunch of manufacturing plants, you really don’t want your connected systems hijacked by hackers or compromised by employee errors.
Tel Aviv-based ScadaFence is a cyber security startup that tackles this specific challenge – shielding industrial networks from cyber attacks and threats. The company just announced its series A round, raising US$10 million.
Investors include JVP, NexStar Partners, 31Ventures Global Innovation Fund, Global Brain’s GB-VI Growth Fund, iAngels, and DS Strategic Partners.
The funds will be used to grow the company’s research and development center in Tel Aviv and boost its global business teams to address “growing demand” from its clients in the US, Europe, and Asia.
Co-founder and CEO Yoni Shohet tells Tech in Asia the startup has “dozens” of customers across these territories, although he doesn’t provide details. While ScadaFence serves several industrial sectors, Shohet says the most demand comes from the chemicals, food and beverage, automotive, and energy sectors.
Building the fence
The startup’s name comes from SCADA, an acronym that stands for Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition. SCADA computer systems are used to control and monitor plants and factory equipment in industries like energy, telecommunications, transportation, and more.
Shohet and his co-founder Ofer Shaked were both part of the Israeli army’s intelligence division, which has birthed many a founder in the country – especially in the cyber security field.
No longer operating in disconnected silos, companies now have to deal with the extra challenges connectivity brings.
The duo saw an opportunity in the industrial internet space, as companies started taking advantage of connected technologies. “Once industrial devices started connecting to systems that allowed them to communicate in networks not based within the industrial environment, we saw a lot of transformation in this space,” Shohet says.
No longer operating in disconnected silos, companies now have to deal with the extra challenges this brings. “[They] need to change their security perspective and think about how they can improve their security while staying connected to the outside world – it’s a very big change for them,” he adds.
That’s where ScadaFence comes in – the startup builds products that help companies monitor their networks for signs of intrusion or compromise, and detect threats in real time. It also makes security assessment tools to help a company determine how its networks are being used, what its current security level is, and what the potential risks are.
Shohet says the startup can scale its products to address clients ranging from one-factory businesses to companies running hundreds of plants worldwide.
ScadaFence doesn’t worry much about competition at the moment, as there is currently no dominant player in the field, according to Shohet. He points to his company’s ability to support big manufacturing networks like large-scale automotive factories as its edge in the market.
“We identified this gap early on because of our focus on these business cases,” he says.
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