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One-third of cyber-security contest finalists Israeli

In Kaspersky Lab’s global search for top security technology, sabra start-ups dominate

Professor Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael (L), with Eugene Kaspersky (R), at a cyber-security conference in Tel Aviv, June 12 2013 (Photo credit: Courtesy)
Professor Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael (L), with Eugene Kaspersky (R), at a cyber-security conference in Tel Aviv, June 12 2013 (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Three Israeli start-ups are among 11 chosen from around the world to compete in the finals next week of the Kaspersky Lab Security Startup Challenge, the firm’s global initiative to seek out “cyber-stars” – students and entrepreneurs who can make a contribution to the burgeoning cyber-security industry.

The contest was a global one, open to entrepreneurs and experts around the world, but Israel has provided nearly a third of the total cyber-brainpower judged by the company and a retinue of industry experts as being worthy of consideration for the finals of the challenge.

The three Israeli finalists include Re-Sec Technologies, which implements software to check for threats in every file that attempts to write itself to a server or computer, without the need for signature-based detection or spotting behavior anomalies; Cyber ​​DriveWare, which uses a unique approach by examining the lower levels of the hard drive, where activity is easier to detect and threats are easier to catch; and Security in Motion, which develops security solutions for connected cars.

Besides the three Israeli teams, companies from the US, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Russia, Germany and Norway made it to the finals. The finals will take place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology next week, with the companies vying for $80,000 in prizes – a $50,000 top prize, as well as runner-up prizes of $10,000 and $20,000.

The finalists were chosen after being chosen for the contest last March, working with experts in person and online, and successfully finishing two workshops in Luxembourg. The winners will be chosen by staff from Kaspersky Lab, together with its partners in the project – Magrove Capital Partners and ABRT Venture Fund.

Noam Froimovich, CEO of Kaspersky Israel, always knew the local teams had what it took to make it to the finals. “I am very pleased and proud that a third of the participants in the closing event of Kaspersky Lab SSC are Israeli teams. This is a lifetime opportunity for them. From the very early stages I was hoping that Israeli developers will get to MIT, and now they are closer than ever to make it happen.”

The awards will be given out by Kaspersky Lab head Eugene Kaspersky, a pioneer of the cyber-security business.

“As the cyber threat landscape becomes more and more dangerous, the world needs new ideas, new concepts and new approaches to cyber-security,” said Kaspersky. “As a result, there’s been a significant increase in venture funding of early-stage startups in the industry. Young entrepreneurs today have an excellent chance to build a truly successful company. Technology startups have been massive wealth-generators for their owners and for society as a whole over the last few decades. Our company was a startup not that long ago, and I can confirm that it feels great to fight the bad guys and build your own business from scratch while doing so.”

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