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Attivo Networks raises $21 million to thwart cyberattacks using the art of deception

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Attivo Networks, a startup that specializes in thwarting cyberattacks using deception technology, has raised $21 million in a series C round of funding. The round was led by Trident Capital Cybersecurity, with participation from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s VC firm Omidyar Technology Ventures and Bain Capital Ventures.

Founded out of Fremont, California in 2011, Attivo is one of a number of cybersecurity startups in the deception technology realm, using defensive “hall of mirrors” techniques that consist of lures and traps designed to trick attackers into revealing themselves. In effect, the underlying technology automatically sets decoys that are integrated into a company’s existing IT infrastructure to confuse and misdirect any hackers that may have already infiltrated the network.

“Achieving 100 percent security is not realistic — organizations must know immediately when their perimeter security controls fail and be able to respond quickly,” explained Tushar Kothari, CEO of Attivo Networks. “Attivo Networks deception-based detection efficiently closes this detection deficit. It is not enough to understand how an attacker attacks, you must also know how to defend and respond.”

Prior to now, Attivo had raised $23 million in funding, including a $15 million series B round just five months ago. With its latest cash injection, the company plans to “meet the soaring demand” for early detection and smart deflection of cyberattacks.

With the gargantuan Equifax data breach still fresh in everyone’s minds, and the global cybersecurity workforce estimated to be short by 1.8 million people by 2022, it’s little surprise that we’ve seen such an uptick in cybersecurity investment. This year alone, the likes of AI cybersecurity startup Darktrace raised $75 million, while SentinelOne nabbed $70 million.

In the deception technology realm, Israel’s Illusive Networks has raised at least $30 million in funding, including a $22 million round back in 2015, and Microsoft Ventures added an undisclosed sum of money to its pot back in January. Elsewhere, TrapX has also raised some big bucks, with Intel and others channeling up to $19 million into the company.

As a result of Trident Capital Cybersecurity’s participation in this new round, Alberto Yépez, the firm’s managing director, will now join Attivo’s board.

“Deception puts attackers on the defensive, making them work harder and increasing their costs,” noted Yépez. “High accuracy addresses the issue of too many alarms being reported by existing solutions, and incident response is improved with the capture of specific techniques and tools being used by the attacker. This is the primary reason why companies are working closely with the Attivo team to help detect and more effectively respond to sophisticated cyberattacks.”

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