A newly announced $25 million investment by US defense contractor Lockheed Martin along with several partners in Israeli cyber-security start-up Cybereason is the company putting its money where its mouth is. Several months ago, LH checked out Cybereason’s protection system, and liked it enough to recommend it to others, “after they compared our solution against a dozen others from the top industry players,” CEO Lior Div told The Times of Israel. The series B funding round was led by Spark Capital, with participation from existing investor CRV.
In fact, LH was so impressed with the results they got from Cybereason that they began offering it to their own customers – among them most of the top Fortune 100 companies, and the US federal government. CyberReason is now the security system recommended by LH to its customers for protection from a wide malware and hack attacks.
Now, LH has decided to commit a substantial sum of investment money to Cybereason. “The Cybereason platform is an outstanding complement to the tradecraft and technologies Lockheed Martin uses every day to defend our network and our clients,” said Rich Mahler, director of commercial cyber services at Lockheed Martin, announcing the investment. “Its real-time detection and attack tracing capabilities enable us to effectively leverage threat intelligence and provide our government and commercial customers with a calculated, strategic approach to cyber defense. In addition to deploying Cybereason internally and partnering with it, we also participated in this latest round as a strategic investor.”
Cyber-security is definitely one of the flavors of the month in tech – for good reason, as hackers and cyber-thieves wreak havoc with corporation and enterprise systems, from banks to movie studios to retailers. But not all solutions are created equal, said Div. “Most of the solutions are very good at what they do – but what they do is very narrow and focused, dealing with only one aspect of the problem.”
It’s the elephant-to-a-blind man problem: What, exactly, are services and technologies looking at when they inspect a system for malware? The IP address origins of attacks? The malware signature? Behavior anomalies (like when a user does something out of the ordinary)? The types of devices that connect to a computer? The user login credentials?
All these are vehicles that are used to conduct cyber-attacks, and there are solutions – good ones, said Div – to mitigate them. But few, if any – other than Cybereason – are able to deal with all of them, and in a simple interface designed for non-techies, said Div. “We don’t expect our customers to be experts in security, which is why we provide them an endpoint solution that they can easily implement to monitor everything that is going on in their system that needs to be dealt with.”
Lockheed Martin recently opened up its first office in Israel, a research and development center at the Beersheba Advanced Technologies Park (ATP) Speaking to the Times of Israel, Chandra McMahon, Senior VP Commercial Markets, Lockheed Martin IS&GS, said that although LH was primarily known as a defense contractor, the company is also the top provider of IT solutions to the US government. We have nearly $9 billion in sales annually, supporting our clients in the private sector, government, and defense arena,” said McMahon. All that IT work requires top cyber-security technology, “and Israel is a great place for that.”
Div, a graduate of the IDF’s 8200 Intelligence Corps – where he was commander of a cyber security team – doesn’t expect anyone to take his word for it. “Lockheed is the best proof we have that our system is the best one out there,” said Div. “They check everything very thoroughly, so if they feel confident enough to recommend us to their customers, I think I can be proud of that.”
Shelly Gotman, managing director of the cyber-security (IS&GS) unit of Lockheed Martin Israel, agreed that Div had something to be proud of. “After reviewing and piloting Cybereason technology, Lockheed Martin decided to deploy the technology on our network, integrate it into our offerings for customers, and become a strategic investor in the company. Lockheed Martin piloted the technology on our network and this year, and after reviewing its performance, decided to deploy it internally. We are also collaborating with Cybereason to integrate their solution into the suite of services that we offer our customers.
“For the last 20 years, Lockheed Martin has been named the leading provider of information technology to the U.S. federal government, and we take that role very seriously,” added Gotman. “In everything we do, every program, every product we develop, cyber-security is a thread running through it.”