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Israeli startup secures 7 million networks, 500 million connected devices

SAM Seamless Network protects customers of Verizon, Virgin Media, Orange and Bezeq

Sivan Rauscher, former 8200 Military Intelligence officer, Co-founder and CEO of SAM Seamless Network (SAM)

A small Israeli startup headed by a former officer in Israel’s elite 8200 Military Intelligence cyber unit is silently protecting 500 million connected devices in more than seven million homes and businesses around the world.

This is the age of the Internet of Things (IoT) with millions of smart devices connected by Wi-Fi. From garage doors to smart watches, all have access to private Wi-Fi and many were designed without any attention to security. Once hacked, they provide a gateway into home and business networks where cyber criminals can wreak havoc, stealing personal information and holding entire companies to ransom.

“In the US, an average household has 22 connected devices,” says Sivan Rauscher, a former 8200 officer and Co-Founder and CEO of SAM Seamless Network, an Israeli startup at the forefront of securing millions of IoT devices on a global level. “We record an average of 16 attacks a day on every network.”

Fueled by the spread of 5G wireless technology, the growth of smart devices snowballed during the pandemic, and the numbers keep growing. By the end of 2024, experts expect there will be more than 17 billion IoT devices connected worldwide. These are not just tablets or smartphones but include everything from household heating systems to online factory machinery. Many of the smart devices will also be enhanced with artificial intelligence, capable of making autonomous decisions.

With this increased connectivity comes major security concerns.

“When you have more connected devices in your perimeter, you’re opening more back doors into your data,” says Rauscher, a rare female CEO in the male-dominated world of cyber security. “It’s just like when you move into a larger house, there are more entry points for thieves. It’s the same with information – the more connectivity, the larger the threat of a breach.”

SAM is currently raising a funding round via OurCrowd, the Jerusalem-based investment platform that allows accredited investors to access privately held startups.More info on the SAM investment round

Prime target

While major corporations can look to giants like Cisco and Check Point for their cybersecurity needs, SAM targets small and medium-sized enterprises, which make up the vast majority of companies – including 99% of all businesses in Europe. Unlike large, security-conscious multinationals, most Wi-Fi networks in small businesses and home offices are unmanaged, unsecured and without an information officer, leaving them prey to hackers.

“The fast adoption of 5G, combined with the proliferation of smart devices operating on unsupervised networks, can be catastrophic for millions of home and business users. Even with the implementation of basic security requirements on IoT devices, the threat of a silent invasion through them is very real,” says Rauscher. “SAM is the best and most cost-efficient defense to this threat and we’re proud that our solution, which is constantly adapting to the changing threat landscape, is being adopted by some of the world’s top providers.”

SAM’s platform is securing networks provided by some of the largest telecommunication companies in the world. including Verizon in the US, Virgin Media in the UK, Orange in Belgium, Bezeq in Israel and other major European providers.

The company’s cloud-based software can work with any system and is deployed remotely, which means the customer doesn’t have to fiddle with complicated settings or pieces of hardware. SAM’s system works automatically through the user’s router or other onsite gateway – usually provided by an internet service provider or as an off-the-shelf product.

Unrecognized devices

SAM has a special relationship with Verizon, which is both a client and an investor through its investment arm Verizon Ventures.

Verizon and SAM also launched the Device ID platform, allowing users to monitor their home network for new or previously unrecognized devices. This allows customers to manage certain details of their devices, like customized naming conventions, allowing for better control of their home network and connected devices. This visibility also results in improved customer service and troubleshooting from the viewpoint of Verizon, who is truly able to “see” the connected home network.

SAM has several key investors including BlackBerry, which co-led the Series B round with Verizon Ventures, Intel Capital, Night Dragon, Target Global, Ericsson, ADT Security Corporation, and Blumberg Capital. OurCrowd is leading SAM’s Series C investment round, which is now funding.

The company is constantly updating its security in response to new threats identified on the networks.

“We employ a data-driven approach to identify emerging threats and attacks on these IoT devices, relying on data from millions of IoT devices across our networks,” says Rauscher. “We’re actively looking and researching vulnerabilities in IoT devices we believe pose a significant threat to our customers.”

IoT regulation

Western governments are aware of the security risks posed by IoT devices.

“Malicious cyber actors may leverage your home network to gain access to personal, private, and confidential information,” the US NSA warned in Best Practices for Securing Your Home Network, published in 2023. Last July, the US government announced a national IoT security label that manufacturers and retailers can use to assure consumers that their smart connected IoT devices meet a certain level of cyber-safety.

The EU is not making IoT security optional. This year, the European Commission imposed minimum requirements for the security of smart devices. Products not meeting the standards will be banned from the EU market. The UK has similar legislation due to take effect in April 2024.

While such government programs don’t apply to IoT devices that are already in use today, they will create a more informed consumer and raise awareness among other parties in the ecosystem, such as retailers or ISPs , motivating them to take action.

For more information about the SAM Seamless Network investment round on the OurCrowd platform, click HERE:More info on the SAM investment round

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