Security company illusive networks announced it has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Team8, a cyber security foundry in Tel Aviv, Israel. Illusive, founded by Check Point veteran Ofer Israeli, focuses on targeted cyber attacks. The only investor in the round is Team8, which incubated the company and which itself is backed by Bessemer Venture Partners, Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent and others. As part of the funding, Nadav Zafrir, CEO and co-founder of Team8, has joined the board.
illusive networks Raises $5 million; Eric Schmidt Applauds illusive’s “Out of the Box” Thinking
• illusive networks’ “deception everywhere” technology neutralizes targeted attacks by creating a deceptive layer across the entire network
• illusive networks is the first startup launched by cybersecurity foundry Team8
Tel Aviv, Israel – June 9, 2015 – illusive networks (illusive), a company that is redefining deception technology, today announced that it has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Team8, the leading cybersecurity foundry. illusive, founded by Check Point veteran Ofer Israeli, is taking on the hardest cybersecurity problem facing organizations today – targeted attacks. “The business world is under cyber siege, with cyber attacks dominating headlines.” said Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman and founding partner at Innovation Endeavors. “It is critical that we support innovative startups developing creative and disruptive solutions to these threats. illusive networks is a perfect example of the kind of “out of the box” thinking necessary to challenge the growing threat of targeted attacks.”
Targeted attacks and Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are not about the malware, but about the people behind it. These attacks are orchestrated by human teams that penetrate an organization’s network and slowly begin collecting data, analyzing it, and making their next move. They do not stop until they find what they are looking for – the credit card database or the file-sever with client-sensitive information. “As successful attackers move towards their target, they rely on one simple fact – that the data they collect is accurate,” said Shlomo Touboul, illusive networks CEO. “What if we tamper with that data and create an environment where attackers can’t rely on the information they gather. If the information is unreliable, the attack cannot move forward. In real world terms, if Sony or Target had been using illusive networks, those attacks could have been prevented.”
illusive’s agentless solution prevents targeted attacks and APTs by proactively “baiting” an organization’s IT network with a woven layer of deception. When attackers act upon baited information, it both neutralizes the attack and instantly triggers a breach report, enabling security administrators to detect, track and contain the attack in its early stages. illusive also provides security administrators real-time forensics information, collected at the exact moment attackers take the bait and before they have time to clean their tracks. And because illusive triggers a breach report only when attackers act on false information, security administrators no longer have to worry about being flooded with millions of daily “false positive” alerts.
“illusive is nothing like honeypots or honeynets,” said founder and VP R&D Ofer Israeli. ”illusive’s “deception everywhere” technology takes a virtual brush and paints a deceptive layer of honey over the entire network. Every real endpoint, server and network component is coated with deception, creating an alternate reality that neutralizes the attacker.”
“Traditional solutions to targeted attacks and APTs are passive; they try to defend the weakness in an organizations network. illusive is proactive. It attacks the weakness in how an attacker sees the network,” said Nadav Zafrir, Team8 CEO and former head of Israel’s famous Unit 8200, the cyber intelligence organization synonymous with the United States National Security Agency (NSA). “The genius of illusive’s solution is that it knows how attackers see the network and then uses it against them. If attackers cannot collect reliable data, they cannot make decisions. And if they cannot make decisions, they are paralyzed.”
The company was selected for Gartner’s exclusive list of “Cool Vendors” for 2015. Gartner observed “deceptive security technologies provide a refreshing and complementary approach to enterprise security. They point to an increasing interest by CISOs to apply commercial approaches to deceiving and trapping hackers by presenting false information on files, applications and other system information.” Gartner recommended that CIOs, CISOs and security managers examine the benefits of illusive because “deception methods will become more prevalent in the future … they will prove effective and easy to deploy.” illusive network’s solution is implemented across leading financial institutions, retailers, healthcare providers and telecommunication companies both in Israel and the United States. illusive has already detected numerous advanced targeted attacks that went undetected by other security solutions.
illusive networks is the first company launched by cybersecurity foundry Team8, which has deep ties to Unit 8200. Several alumni of Unit 8200 have gone on to found or play leading roles in some of the most successful cybersecurity companies. illusive was founded by Ofer Israeli, a research and development veteran of Check Point, who will serve as illusive’s Vice President of R&D. illusive is also announcing today that Shlomo Touboul, a seasoned cybersecurity entrepreneur, is joining the company as CEO. Shlomo Touboul ran the Network Management Business Unit at Intel and was the founder and CEO of three cybersecurity companies: Finjan Software (NASDAQ: FNJN), Shany (acquired by Intel), and Yoggie (acquired by Cupp Computing). Nadav Zafrir will be joining illusive as Chairman of the Board.
About illusive networks
illusive networks provides innovative solutions that combat Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) by exploiting the weakest link of any cyber attack: the human team behind it. By proactively deceiving and disrupting attacks, illusive networks detects breaches with high confidence at very early stages, mitigating any potential damage. For more information on illusive networks, please visit www.illusivenetworks.com.
Team8 is a “cybersecurity foundry” focused on developing disruptive technologies and launching new cybersecurity companies. Team8 brings together the capital, research, expertise, network and talent to build companies tackling the toughest cybersecurity challenges. Team8 was founded by leading cybersecurity experts Nadav Zafrir, Israel Grimberg and Liran Grinberg, all with deep ties to Israel’s famous Unit 8200. It is backed by Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent, Bessemer Venture Partners, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and Marker LLC. For more information on Team8, please visit www.team8.vc.