14 Aug Dragos, a Global Industrial Control System Cybersecurity Startup, Raises $10 Million in Series A Venture Capital
Funding Provided by Allegis Capital, Energy Impact Partners and DataTribe Dragos Is Building the First Industrial Cybersecurity Ecosystem
HANOVER, Maryland (August 14, 2017) — Dragos Inc., (pronounced Dray-gohs), an industrial control system (ICS) cybersecurity company made up of industry experts with the vision of securing global industrial infrastructure, announced today that it has received a $10 million Series A round of venture capital from co-lead investors Allegis Capital and Energy Impact Partners (EIP), with additional support from DataTribe, a cybersecurity startup studio that initially funded Dragos.
The Series A round will be used to increase the company’s workforce to meet rising customer demand, generated in part through key partnerships with Deloitte, the global audit and financial advisory services firm, and CrowdStrike Inc., a leader in cloud-delivered endpoint protection.
CRASHOVERRIDE AND DRAGOS REPORT
Dragos has attracted attention for recently producing a report on CRASHOVERRIDE, the malware used to temporarily interrupt power in the Ukraine in a widely publicized cyber-attack last December. CRASHOVERRIDE is the only known malware that disrupts the electrical grid and only the fourth known type of malware to be specifically tailored toward ICS overall.
Founded May 2016 and funded until this point with a seed round of $1.2 million from DataTribe, Dragos has built the first industrial cybersecurity ecosystem. This consists of three core offerings and an assessment tool – the Dragos Platform, the Dragos Threat Operations Center, Global ICS Intelligence, and CyberLens network assessment software. 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. Services range from threat hunting to incident response, as well as lightweight software for routine assessments.
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 exists to safeguard civilization,” said Robert M. Lee, the 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.”
Dragos was founded by ICS cybersecurity experts Lee, Jon Lavender and Justin Cavinee, all veterans of the U.S. intelligence community. There they established a first-of-its-kind mission for the U.S. government to identify, analyze and respond to nation-states launching ICS-focused cyberattacks.
“Industrial control systems are unique unto themselves – hybrid digital and analog environments with very different operational temperaments,” said Bob Ackerman, the founder and a Managing Director of cybersecurity investment specialist Allegis Capital. “Unless you have lived your life in this environment, you can’t truly appreciate how different or complex ICS systems are. With Dragos, we invested in the “A” team.”
“Protecting the integrity of the grid has always been a top priority for utility operators,” said Sameer Reddy, a Vice President at EIP and co-leader of the Series A financing. “One of the critical challenges is access to sufficient human capital. The Dragos platform, which is built and managed by true ICS cybersecurity experts, provides significant force multiplication to ICS operators around the world.”
“Energy is essential to our economy and way of life. As a result, energy infrastructure is increasingly a target,” said Thomas A. Fanning, Chairman, President and CEO of Southern Company. “As a founding investor in Energy Impact Partners, Southern Company is proud to support enhancing the resiliency of critical infrastructure, in order to better protect the communities where we live and serve.”
About Dragos Inc.
Dragos Inc., based in Hanover, Md., is the trusted authority on threats to industrial networks (ICS/IoT). The Dragos Platform is an on-premise or cloud-based security technology that continually and passively collects data to perform asset identification, detects cyber threats through industrial specific behavioral analytics, and enables better efficiency and effectiveness of security personnel through the codification of automated workflows, best practices and incident response procedures. The Dragos Platform is continually enhanced through the Dragos Threat Operations Center, a team of experts providing services that include incident response, threat hunting, and compromise assessments. Both are backed by Dragos Intelligence, which allows for the analysis of adversary intrusions and provides the industry with weekly threat intelligence reports and adds new behavioral analytics to the Dragos Platform. For more information, visit https://dragos.com.
About Allegis Capital
Allegis Capital is a premier, early-stage venture firm that invests solely in cybersecurity and was the first venture fund to focus strictly on cyber. In addition to Dragos, current investments include Area 1 Security, Bracket Computing, Callsign, Cyber GRX, E8 Security, RedOwl, Shape Security, Signifyd, Synack, tCell.io and vArmour. Allegis is also a founding partner in DataTribe, a cybersecurity startup studio based in Fulton, Maryland. Allegis Capital is based in San Francisco. For more information, visit www.allegiscap.com or Twitter at @AllegisCapital.
About Energy Impact Partners
Energy Impact Partners is a collaborative strategic investment firm that invests in companies optimizing energy consumption and improving sustainable energy generation. Through close collaboration with its strategic investor base, EIP seeks to bring the best companies, buying power and vision in the industry to bear on the emerging energy landscape. EIP’s utility partners include Southern Company, National Grid, Xcel Energy, Ameren, Great Plains Energy, Fortis Inc., AGL, Avista, MGE Energy Inc., TEPCO, PTT Public Company Limited, OGE Energy Corp., TransCanada, and Alliant Energy. For more information, visit www.energyimpactpartners.com.
DataTribe, based in Fulton, Maryland, and Silicon Valley, is a cybersecurity startup studio formed with the mission of combining breakthrough innovation in cybersecurity, Big Data and analytics. The technological base of its startups emerge from federal agencies, such as the National Security Agency, or from government research labs. DataTribe draws upon Silicon Valley start-up expertise to help create, define and lead new market segments. As an operating company, it directly takes on the task of building startups from concept to initial customer deployments while significantly lowering risk and preserving returns. For more information, visit www.datatribe.com.
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