Microsoft buys Israeli firm CyberX to boost internet of things offering
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Microsoft buys Israeli firm CyberX to boost internet of things offering

Deal is reportedly for some $165 million; founded in 2012, the startup has developed software to detect, stop, and predict security breaches in connected devices

A signage of Microsoft is seen on March 13, 2020, in New York City. (Jeenah Moon/ Getty Images/AFP)
A signage of Microsoft is seen on March 13, 2020, in New York City. (Jeenah Moon/ Getty Images/AFP)

US tech giant Microsoft said it is acquiring Herzliya-Israel based cybersecurity startup CyberX to give it an edge in helping customers secure devices that are connected to the internet.

The amount of the transaction was undisclosed but in May, the Globes financial website said that Microsoft was in talks to buy CyberX for $165 million.

CyberX, founded in 2012 by Nir Geller and Omer Schneider, has raised to date $47 million from investors including US VC fund Norwest Venture Partners, Israeli VC OurCrowd, Flint Capital and Qualcomm Ventures, according to data compiled by Start-Up Nation Central, which tracks Israel’s tech industry.

The Israeli firm has developed an industrial cyber-security platform to detect, stop and predict breaches of security on internet of things networks, reducing the risk of attacks and preventing production outages, safety failure and environmental incidents.

IoT provides real-time insights into assets, enabling businesses to reduce operational expenses, unplanned downtime and unnecessary servicing, Microsoft’s VPs Michal Braverman-Blumenstyk and Sam George wrote in a blogpost. But there is a huge challenge in securing devices connected to the internet, and that is where CyberX plays a role, they wrote. Braverman-Blumenstyk is also general manager of Israel R&D.

The tech developed by the Israeli firm will give customers information of what devices are already connected to the internet, and manage and improve the security of those devices.

With CyberX, customers can see a digital map of thousands of devices across a factory floor or within a building and gather information about their asset profile and vulnerabilities, Braverman-Blumenstyk and George wrote.

Gaining this visibility is not only critical for understanding where security risks lie, and then mitigating those risks, “but it is also a fundamental step to securely enable smart manufacturing, smart grid and other digitization use cases across production facilities and the supply chain,” said the blog.

Two years ago, Microsoft announced a $5 billion investment in IoT technologies, as part of its push to boost products for enterprises, and cybersecurity protections for connected devices is part of the strategy. The US firm already provides multi-layer IoT security and IoT security monitoring in its Azure cloud platform, which is being used by thousands of customers in production and has made securely configuring IoT devices possible, the blog said.

CyberX will complement the existing internet of things capabilities of the Azure cloud platform, Microsoft said.

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