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Cyber Intelligence Firm Intsights Raises $17 Million

Israel-born startup Intsights Cyber Intelligence has raised $17 million in a Series C funding round led by Tola Capital. It brings the total capital raised by the firm to $41.3 million ($1.8 million seed funding in 2015; $7.5 million Series A in 2016; and $15 million Series B in 2017). 

"This new round of funding," commented CEO Guy Nizan, "will fuel further investment in our cyber reconnaissance capability and global expansion, allowing us to bring the power of tailored intelligence to enterprises around the globe."

The firm was founded in Israel in 2015 by Alon Arvatz, Gal Ben David, Guy Nizan. All three are veterans of the elite cyber-warfare and intelligence services of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Intsights is now headquartered in New York, NY.

Intsights Cyber Intelligence is predicated on the idea that effective defense begins before an attack is launched. By definition, most traditional security controls are reactive. They attempt to recognize an attack at the perimeter and block it, or an existing incursion and mitigate it. But also by definition, reactive controls are after the event: the attack is in progress or has already succeeded.

Intsights seeks to be proactive -- to recognize and mitigate an attack before it occurs. It does this by crawling both the surface and dark web looking for indications that an attack is being planned by a hacker or criminal gang. Clues can include actions like scouting targets, using suspicious tools, and collaborating with other hackers on underground forums. The Intsights platform then goes further by integrating with many of the most popular security controls, automatically updating the security infrastructure to block or mitigate the budding attacks it discovers.

Intsights has 15 strategic partners, including firms like Splunk, Check Point, Palo Alto, Carbon Black, Fortinet, IBM, Microsoft, LogRhythm (now majority-owned by investment firm Thoma Bravo), and Symantec. 

"Cyber-attacks are driven by humans who leave footprints and breadcrumbs as they plan their attack," explains Nizan. "Enterprises need tailored intelligence that looks beyond the firewall to see the indicators of attack their cyber adversaries leave and understand how, why and when they plan to attack."

Sheila Gulati, managing director of investment firm Tola Capital, expands: "Traditional threat intelligence solutions have failed to deliver the advantage promised to enterprise customers and their security teams. Today, CISOs want to understand what risks are coming and take a proactive stance, as well as determine what sensitive assets are already exposed. By leveraging a data and software enabled approach, security teams can prepare for upcoming attacks and prevent future attacks."

Of course, corporate risk isn't limited to the attack itself. Risk also comes from fake mobile applications, phishing sites, pastebin posts, social media pages, and malicious domains. These can be discovered by Intsight's web-crawling algorithms -- and the platform allows them to be remediated with a single click. "This is done," says Intsights, "via integration with social media platforms, app stores, and registrars by engaging with the IntSights External Remediation team."

The firm already has 20 of the Fortune Global 500 enterprises among its customers, from the financial services, automotive, telecom, apparel, and gaming industries. This customer base is growing at more than 200%. Intsights has offices in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Singapore, Dallas, and Boston and 40 reseller partners worldwide. 

Related: From IDF to Inc: The Israeli Cybersecurity Startup Conveyor Belt 

Related: Insider Recruitment Growing on Dark Web 

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Kevin Townsend is a Senior Contributor at SecurityWeek. He has been writing about high tech issues since before the birth of Microsoft. For the last 15 years he has specialized in information security; and has had many thousands of articles published in dozens of different magazines – from The Times and the Financial Times to current and long-gone computer magazines.