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SoftBank Corp invests $100 million into cybersecurity start-up Cybereason

  • SoftBank Corp invests $100 million into Cybereason
  • The Boston-based cybersecurity firm uses behavioral analytics to detect threats
  • The start-up has raised $189 million in funding
  • It counts SoftBank, Lockheed Martin and Spark Capital among its backers
Lane Oatey | Blue Jean Images | Getty Images

Cybereason, a Boston-based cybersecurity firm specializing in end-point detection and response to digital security breaches, on Wednesday announced it secured a $100 million funding from Japanese telecommunications firm SoftBank Corp — a subsidiary of SoftBank Group.

The start-up has raised a total of $189 million in funding to-date, and its backers also include Charles River Ventures, Lockheed Martin and Spark Capital. It declined to disclose valuation.

"This infusion of capital means that Cybereason can add to our technology and growth even faster," Lior Div, co-founder and chief executive officer at Cybereason, told CNBC.

Div founded the company in 2012 with Yossi Naar and Yonatan Striem-Amit, he said.

"The new capital enables (us) to expand our products, hire additional talented people and increase the size of our offices in Boston, Tel Aviv, London and Tokyo — and throughout the broader EMEA and APAC regions," he said.

To be clear, the investment from SoftBank Corp is not part of SoftBank Group's massive Vision Fund, which had its first close in May with over $93 billion of capital committed, and it is targeting a total of $100 billion within the next six months.

Cyberattacks on companies have increased in frequency, forcing businesses to think, and invest, in more advanced means of protection against intruders. Last month, a ransomware attack hit 200,000 computers around the world.

Div said ransomware is one of the biggest threats facing companies today. "The problem the industry faces is that the technology is often not keeping up."

Cybereason's technology does behavioral analytics on every single digital action and interaction happening within a company's network. It processes information in real-time to provide visibility into the security landscape within the network and pulls together related elements of a cyberattack. This way IT specialists in companies can detect and proactively respond against threats.

"(Our) focus on behavioral data means that we look beyond just the ones and zeros of what the data is — we constantly correlate data to understand what the attacker is doing, and their motives," said Div. "We know how to spot potential attacker activities and we can accurately distinguish between good and bad behavior."

Industry stakeholders told CNBC that attacks like these can be costly for businesses on several fronts: the number of hours spent by their IT departments to fix the problem, productivity loss from employees affected, reputation damage and the loss of sensitive data. In some cases, it can be dangerous — for example, the attack affected the National Health Services in the U.K., where patients had to be shuffled around.

The consensus among security experts is that the number of attacks are going to increase in frequency due to the proliferation of connected devices and the so-called Internet of Things.

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