Securing embedded devices and the internet of things (IoT) is becoming a big business.
This week, an Israeli startup has raised $32 million in Series B funding to increase market adoption of its IoT security platform and strengthen its technical capabilities.
Based in Tel Aviv, VDOO Connected Trust Ltd. was founded in 2017 by cybersecurity researchers and developers. It offers an end-to-end platform for security automation, certification, and protection.
The company said it is setting its sights on providing security for all types of embedded devices.
More specifically, the funds will be used to push innovation in automated analysis capabilities, including zero-day vulnerabilities detection both for new and legacy devices.
VDOO is also looking to expand its partner and distribution network, which already includes NTT, Macnica, DNP, and Fujisoft in Japan.
“At a time when embedded devices already deployed in the field not only collect data but actually control our physical environment, affecting both business operations and our personal lives, it’s hard to imagine a future where all of these devices can be exploited,” said Netanel Davidi, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of VDOO.
“The reality is that devices are highly vulnerable and there is a reasonable chance they will be under a massive attack in the near future,” he added.
The latest funding round, which brought total funding for the young company to $45 million, was led by venture capital firms WRVI Capital and GGV Capital.
NTT DOCOMO, MS&AD Ventures, and strategic individual investor Avigdor Willenz, Founder of Galileo Technologies and Annapurna Lab. 83North, Dell Technology Capital and David Strohm, who led the company's initial financing, also participated in this round.
Clear demand for security
Lip-Bu Tan, Founding Partner of WRVI Capital, an international venture firm focusing on OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) of embedded systems, hardware, and software, said they decided to back VDOO technology as they see a clear demand for security.
VDOO’s automation platform enables IoT manufacturers to raise the security bar with device-specific security requirements integrated into common task management and development environments.
The technology improves the device’s security by automatically generating tailor-made on-device micro-agents for active real-time protection against known and unknown threats, including exploits that utilize advanced methods.
Citing figures from Statista, Glenn Solomon, Managing Partner at GGV Capital, wrote in a company blog post that the IoT market is exploding, with the number of IoT devices growing to over 30 billion by next year, more than double over the past five years.
“The growing number of attacks, zero-day discoveries, and malware crafted specifically for IoT all indicate that cybercriminals are increasingly exploiting IoT devices due to their lack of security,” he said. “Device makers, including vendors, manufacturers, and large integrators, all are realizing they need to take IoT device security seriously.”
“Hence, VDOO’s pipeline is rapidly expanding,” he said.
IoT security a recurring concern
Juniper Research pegged IoT security spending to top US$6 billion by 2023.
“The interconnected nature of the IoT means that even innocuous devices like the connected fridge can become a threat. Vendors see that risk as low, while little has been done from a regulatory perspective to protect consumers,” explained research author Steffen Sorrell in the report.
Meanwhile, on the side of critical infrastructures in sectors such as in sectors such as utilities, transport, and healthcare, cybersecurity is a growing concern, according to ABI Research. Hence, it forecasts security spending for the protection of critical infrastructures to hit $125 billion globally by 2023.
At a recent FutureIoT roundtable, one of the delegates pointed to security as a recurring concern as organizations push forward the digitalization of businesses.