#Asia Israel’s TopSpin whirls up US$7M Series A for cyber security solutions


This cyber security company wants to make life very tough for hackers, catching the trickiest of attackers


Israeli threat detection and diversion team TopSpin announced on Monday that it had succeeded in raising a US$7 million Series A.

Participating in the round were a number of well-known private players in the cyber security industry, including former seed round investors Shlomo Kramer and Mickey Boodaei, who were joined this time around by Zohar Zisapel and Rakesh Loonkar.

The Herzliya-based company was founded in 2013 by CEO Doron Kolton. With a team of roughly 20 staff, it has already achieved a working customer base.

TopSpin provides a two-fold B2B solution for tackling malware. The first section relates to the misdirection within the network that is aimed to confuse and bog down an attacker, showing them enticing collections of conjured data. By directing their focus to the more easily found fake data — or the honeypot — a company can keep their real cache safer. This way, the hacker is sent on a wild goose chase through a system, unsure of what is really valuable or not.

The second half of the product is the ability to catch an attack that might otherwise go unnoticed while it started harmful activities.

The idea for the company came from a set of meetings with Mickey Boodaei, who has had a lot of success in driving the direction of companies. Kolton told Geektime that, “Initially we wanted to solve the problem of malware or infected assets inside the organisation and most of the solutions try to catch them using signatures like bad known domains or IP addresses. These kinds of matching technology are unable to identify new kinds of attacks.”

“We are the only one in this segment that is on top of automatically distributing honeypots and breadcrumbs across an entire organisation,” said Kolton. “We deeply analyse all the information flowing in and out of the network in order to detect the communication of the malware with the command and control servers and the exfiltration of data from the organisation.”

Kolton explained that when the sophisticated analysis is combined with the honeypot and correlated with the different malware activities, “It gives a much better picture of the malware’s activities, helping us to identify and mitigate the damage sooner rather than later.”

He cited the company’s ability to separate automatic communication channels from user’s activities as an element that helps them stand out from their competition. “This gives great visibility to the automatic communication channels that the organisation is using,” said Kolton, adding that, “This is very important for the organisation to see that their security policy is being enforced.”

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Mitigation vs intrusion prevention systems

One of the more interesting trends that have risen to prevalence in recent years in the security industry is that of mitigation rather than simply the prevention of attacks. Companies do their best to ensure that their outer walls put up a good defence but understand that some talented individuals will always find ways inside the castle.

By presenting the attacker with a buffet of fake treasure troves, the home team stands a better chance at keeping their sensitive data secure. In many of the hacks that have come to light recently, including the Juniper Networks attack, an intruder can enter a system and stay there undetected for long periods of time, slowly sucking out information like a near dormant parasite.

Possessing the capabilities to pick up on a silent attacker who has made it past the gates can prove to be just as –if not more– important than a noisy singular wrecking ball like a DDOS.

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Stacking up to the competition

The field of honeypot style security services is growing as a part of the overall toolkit for minimising damages from hackers and is attracting funding from some very smart people.

Back in October 2015, another Israeli firm called Illusive Networks also rose up in this sector, pulling in a US$22 million Series B. This came after the Team8-birthed company had raised a US$5 million Series A only four months earlier in June. Other startups like TrapX, Attivo Networks, and Cymmetria all bring their own perspectives and special sauce to the table, spicing up an already hot market.

For TopSpin to attract its current round of investors, it must be doing something right at this point. All four of them have had a leadership role in bringing up some of the most influential companies like Check Point, Palo Alto Networks, Trusteer and others. While for these individuals a combined investment of US$7 million is not exactly an all-in bet, it does fall in the respectable range of investments for these companies, with Illusive’s US$5 million and TrapX’s US$9 million respectively.

While there is a high demand for increased cyber security capabilities, with honeypot amongst them, it is worth asking whether this space is becoming overcrowded. It would seem that in order to succeed, these players are going to have to bring not only their A game but other aspects as well to win over customers.

Following the close of this round, Kolton told Geektime that it is heading into the US market to build the sales and marketing team, and growing its customer base.

The article Israeli TopSpin whirls up a $7M Series A for honeypot cyber security solutions first appeared in Geektime.

Image credit: victorass / Shutterstock

The post Israel’s TopSpin whirls up US$7M Series A for cyber security solutions appeared first on e27.

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