Industrial cybersecurity startup SCADAfence reels in $10M from investors
Industrial companies are bringing more and more of their equipment into the “internet of things” in a bid to streamline operations. The payoff is the ability to perform tasks such as predict malfunctions ahead of time, but the increasingly connected nature of production lines is also creating new attack opportunities for hackers.
Tel Aviv-based SCADAfence Ltd. is tackling the threat. The startup, which today announced the completion of a $10 million funding round, sells cybersecurity tools specifically designed with industrial networks in mind. It claims to provide better protection than general-purpose breach prevention products, since they often don’t account for the unique characteristics of the Internet-connected hardware found in places such as factories.
SCADAfence’s main product is a monitoring platform that can automatically map out the devices in a network. From there, the software keeps an eye on each asset to find unusual behavior that may indicate a security breach.
Anomalous activity can take a variety of forms. In one highly publicized incident from 2015, for example, hackers breached the control systems at a German steel mill and caused an unscheduled shutdown of a blast furnace. The attack caused “massive” damage to the installation, according to a German government report.
In addition to security threats, SCADAfence said its software can also help companies identify configuration problems and malfunctions. These types of issues have the potential to cause just as big of a disruption to production as a cyberattack.
SCADAfence helps protect the industrial equipment of Fortune 500 companies in the automotive, pharmaceutical, chemical and energy sectors. The startup will use the capital to attract more clients, as well as step up product development.
The round saw the participation of NexStar Partners, Japanese venture capital giant Global Brain and several other institutional investors. SCADAfence is one of several emerging startups that have raised capital to make the industrial world more secure. Another is Indegy Inc., which offers a similar monitoring platform that attracted $12 million in funding last year.
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