Alternatives to legacy endpoint protection software like anti virus is one of the hottest areas in the information security space. Yesterday’s announcement by Cybereason of a $100 Million investment by SoftBank only underscores that.
Cybereason, which has offices in Boston, London and Tel Aviv, closed a Series D funding round from SoftBank to accelerate growth. The round brings total investment in Cybereason to $189 million and make SoftBank the single largest investor int he company, which also counts Spark Capital, Lockheed Martin and CRV as investors.
“We are thrilled with our incredible growth but we are never satisfied because hackers still have a big advantage over the vast majority of corporations. This new funding allows us to increase our growth through new distribution channels and to develop new technologies. 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,” said Lior Div, co-founder and CEO, Cybereason said in a statement.
Endpoint protection has proven to be a particularly vexing problem. Older generation anti virus technologies, which traditionally relied on finger-printing malicious files, are resource intensive and have proven ineffective at fast-evolving threats. Ransomware has proven to be a costly and disruptive threat that can hobble corporate operations, while the transition to cloud-based applications and mobile devices has further complicated the job of protecting critical IT assets. A recent survey by The Ponemon Institute and sponsored by the security firm Absolute found that companies spend an average of 1,156 hours each week to detect and contain insecure endpoints, with around a third of that time (425 hours) devoted to chasing down false positives.
Newer generations of endpoint protection firms like Cybereason use machine learning technologies and automation to identify behaviors associated with malicious software or compromises of networks, promising much faster detection of adverse security incidents.
The rising drumbeat of attacks and sophisticated malware has prompted a round of acquisitions in recent months. In February, Sophos, a UK anti virus firm, purchased Invincea, a next-generation endpoint security vendor with roots in the Department of Defense’s DARPA program. In June, Microsoft purchased Hexadite, another company with roots in the Israeli Defense Forces, which provides automated incident response. Microsoft said it plans to use Hexadite’s technology to supplement its Windows Defender Advanced Threat Detection Service.