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Industrial Cybersecurity Firm Nozomi Networks Raises $7.5 Million

Industrial cybersecurity firm Nozomi Networks has raised $7.5 million in a Series A funding round, the company announced this week at SecurityWeek's 2016 ICS Cyber Security Conference, Atlanta. It separately announced the latest release of its SCADAguardian ICS security product. 

ICS/SCADA systems comprise a vital part of the nation's critical infrastructure, and yet are among the most vulnerable systems in use. They were originally designed before security became a design issue, and are not well-protected by the majority of traditional bolt-on security products developed over the last 15 to 20 years.

Nozomi NetworksBut starting perhaps with Stuxnet around 2010 and continuing to today's BlackEnergy malware, ICS/SCADA has been increasingly attacked. Last year alone the United States Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) reported 295 critical infrastructure attack.

Nozomi networks at ICS Cyber Security ConferneceSCADAguardian was launched in 2013 as a security solution developed specifically for ICS. It uses machine learning and behavioral analysis to monitor networks in real time; and is already employed by dozens of multinational customers to monitor more than 50,000 industrial devices.

The Series A funding was co-led by GGV Capital and Lux Capital, with Glenn Solomon, Managing Partner at GGV Capital, and Bilal Zuberi, Partner at Lux Capital, joining the Nozomi board of directors as part of the financing. Edgard Capdevielle has been brought in as CEO for the new growth period.

Investors believe that Nozomi has a strong and early product in an increasingly vital area. "The Industrial Internet has shed light on a serious gap in cybersecurity for critical infrastructure," explained Solomon. "As part of GGV’s longtime focus on cyber security, we've been studying the evolving risks around critical infrastructure and believe there is a tremendous opportunity for a specialized security company built from the ground up to address these environments."

Christian Renaud, an analyst with 451 Research, believes that SCADAguardian is right for that opportunity. "In the United States and globally," he said, "the security of systems that control electric power, water, and oil & gas are at risk and need the most advanced technologies possible to protect operations from disruption. Nozomi's SCADAguardian solution helps address a key customer concern in the deployment of IoT in critical infrastructure."

The strength of SCADAguardian is that it employs machine learning and behavioral analysis to detect zero-day attacks in real-time; while integration with firewalls and SIEMs, ICS incident alerting and notification systems allow rapid response to alerts.

The latest release adds incident management (by automatically aggregating multiple alerts and messages into incidents); customizable portable dashboards (to streamline and standardize operations across multiple plants); a 'time machine' (to provide complete models of plants and processes from different times in order to understand and visualize changes in the ICS environment); and performance optimization (including a 20x improvement on response times giving customers instantaneous answers to complex ad-hoc queries and assertions).

"This is an exciting time for Nozomi," said co-founder Andrea Carcano. "We are thrilled to have GGV and Lux backing our market expansion and product growth; and honored to have Edgard join the Nozomi Networks team."

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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.