Security Experts:

Dragos Raises $10 Million to Protect Critical Infrastructure From Cyber Attacks

Dragos, a startup focused on protecting industrial control systems (ICS) and critical infrastructure from cyber threats, announced on Monday that it has raised $10 million through a Series A funding round. 

 According to Hanover, Maryland-based Dragos, the new funding will be used to hire additional staff to support rising customer demand fueled by recently announced partnerships with Deloitte and CrowdStrike.

Founded May 2016, Dragos offers three core offerings, along with its CyberLens network assessment tool. The three core offerings include the Dragos Platform, the Dragos Threat Operations Center, Global ICS Intelligence. 

“This combination gives customers access to technology to monitor and respond to threats in the ICS, along with intelligence to make informed decisions about threats,” the company explains. “Services range from threat hunting to incident response, as well as lightweight software for routine assessments.”

Dragos has been under the spotlight recently for its analysis and report on CRASHOVERRIDE (AKA Industroyer), the malware used to disrupt power in a cyber attack against Ukraine’s national power company Ukrenergo last December. CRASHOVERRIDE is the only known malware that has successfully disrupted the electrical grid.

The company’s biggest technological differentiator is its behavioral analytics. Instead of “anomaly detection” and other types of machine learning-driven technologies that are hitting the market, the approach of Dragos is to codify human experience facing human adversaries. It identifies adversary tradecraft and turns it into behavioral analytics. As a result, defenders get context of what is going on and recommendations on what to do next, not merely a series of alerts.

Dragos was founded by Robert M. Lee, Jon Lavender and Justin Cavinee, former members of the U.S. intelligence community who worked on identifying, analyzing and responding to ICS-focused cyberattacks coming from nation-state attackers.

“Dragos exists to safeguard civilization,” said Lee, who serves as CEO of Dragos.  “Critical infrastructure powers the global economy and the fabric of modern society.”

“We all strongly believe that civilian infrastructure should be off limits to any adversaries, no matter where the infrastructure is located in the world,” added Lee, who will be speaking on the subject of CRASHOVERRIDE at SecurityWeek’s 2017 ICS Cyber Security Conference in October. 

The Series A round was led by investors Energy Impact Partners (EIP) and Allegis Capital. Additional support was provided by DataTribe, a cybersecurity “startup studio” that initially funded the company with a $1.2 million Seed round in August 2016

“Industrial control systems are unique unto themselves – hybrid digital and analog environments with very different operational temperaments,” said Bob Ackerman, founder and a Managing Director of cybersecurity investment firm Allegis Capital. “Unless you have lived your life in this environment, you can’t truly appreciate how different or complex ICS systems are.”
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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the treat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences.