The American-Israeli cyber security start-up, Cymmetria Inc., has closed another round of funding just four months after its previous round of $1.5 million. The round of $9 million (as reported by the Wall Street Journal) was led by US-based Sherpa Capital, along with Rally Ventures, Felicis Ventures, and the prestigious startup program Y Combinator.
Cymmetria is pioneering the space of active defense and cyber deception. By controlling what an attacker can observe, Cymmetria creates a situation in which attackers are forced to make risky decisions that they cannot afford not to make. "The psychology of an attacker is inherently predictable," says Gadi Evron, CEO of Cymmetria, "Therefore, with the right defensive tools, their predictability can easily become their biggest weakness."
Cymmetria's technology generates a single high fidelity alert when an attacker is present. It simultaneously produces forensics that help mitigate and analyze the nature of the attack. The system is easy to deploy on-site or on the cloud. It is scalable and integrates fully with an organization’s current security architecture.
The three parts of Cymmetria's system are as follows:
When attempting lateral movement from a compromised host, attackers follow the persistent paths of the real user's behavior, using the data objects left behind such as credentials. Cymmetria seeds the attackers' path with similar data objects called Breadcrumbs. These can single-handedly generate alerts of an attacker making use of them, and then further confuse the attacker and slow them down. Evron notes, "Effectively, Cymmetria is shifting the burden of anomaly detection to the attackers."
An attacker making use of the breadcrumbs will then proceed to attack the service of interest-- a decoy to which they are directed (a fully instrumented forensic device that runs on a virtual machine). Once the attacker interacts with the decoy, the attacker's resources are compromised, full forensics is generated, and mitigation can be achieved.
Assuring the success of such deception techniques requires more than just the ability to deploy them. It requires them to be sensible to the attacker, and to be relevant and practical to the environment being attacked. They need to seem realistic to the attacker in business and IT environments. By creating campaigns based on the organization's type of business, deployment costs drop exponentially.
The company's founders, Gadi Evron, Dean Sysman, and Imri Goldberg, have worked for many years managing and innovating in cyber security, both in the private and public sectors. Gadi worked as VP of Cybersecurity Strategy at Kaspersky, headed PWC's Cyber Security Center of Excellence in Israel, and led the Israeli government Internet security operation. He is also chairman of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Alliance and the Israeli CERT. Dean has formerly been an officer and commander in the elite intelligence unit 8200 of the Israeli military. Imri Goldberg is former CTO and founder of Desti (bought by Nokia HERE) and a former officer and commander in unit 8200 as well.