Moody’s, Team8 invest $25 million in joint cyber-risk venture

The ratings agency and the Israeli cybersecurity investor set up initiative in 2019 to create standards to objectively assess businesses’ cybersecurity vulnerability

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

This August 2010 file photo shows a sign for Moody's Corp. in New York (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
This August 2010 file photo shows a sign for Moody's Corp. in New York (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Moody’s Corp., the ratings agency, and Team8, an Israeli cybersecurity think tank and investor, announced Wednesday the completion of a $25 million investment in VisibleRisk, a joint venture set up by the two companies in 2019 to evaluate enterprise cyber-risk.

VisibleRisk also announced the launch of a Cyber Rating product, building on the collaboration between Moody’s and Team8, to develop a global standard for assessing corporate cyber-risk.

Moody’s and Team8 joined forces in 2019 to set up the venture to help create what they hope will become a global standard for evaluating how vulnerable companies are to cyberattacks.

“Moody’s investment in VisibleRisk aligns with our global integrated risk assessment strategy and focus on cyber security as an important element of understanding and managing enterprise risk,” said David Platt, chief strategy officer at Moody’s. The investment will “deepen” Moody’s relationship with VisibleRisk as it launches its innovative Cyber Rating product “to help customers better understand and confidently manage their cyber risks.”

VisibleRisk’s Cyber Ratings are based on cyber-risk quantification, which allows companies to benchmark their cyber-risks against those of their peers, and to better understand and manage the impact of cyber-threats to their businesses. Combining economic, cybersecurity, and industry data, the Cyber Rating incorporates a holistic, validated set of internal and external parameters that can affect a firm’s security position, and quantifies the risks in economic terms, the companies said in a statement.

“Translating cyber risk-for business executives who are not domain experts is crucial to successfully managing risk,” said Derek Vadala, chief executive officer of VisibleRisk. “By quantifying a company’s risk exposure in economic terms, VisibleRisk is providing decision-makers with an actionable, real-time benchmark to best manage cyber risk and improve resilience.”

VisibleRisk’s Cyber Ratings use real-time monitoring, custom reporting, and expert analysis that help the decision-making process, the companies said. The parameters used to determine the risk are fully transparent, including the methodology and data sources, the statement said.

“At a time of intense digital transformation, accelerating hyper-connectivity and hybrid working environments, confidence in digital infrastructure is of paramount importance to business leaders,” said Nadav Zafrir, managing partner at Team8. “Cyber risk and business risk are inextricably linked, and it is only by striking a balance between security, productivity, privacy and distributed working that enterprises can surmount these challenges while driving innovation. VisibleRisk enables executive leaders to get that right.”

For Moody’s, the investment will be funded with cash, and is not expected to have a material impact on 2021 financial results, the statement said.

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