A Q&A with Seculert CEO Dudi Matot. The Petach-Tikva, Israel–based company was founded in 2010 and is credited with discovering the ‘Madhi Trojan’ last December. The team raised $5.35 million in new funding earlier this month. Investors include Norwest Venture Partners and YL Ventures.
SUB: Please describe what Seculert is, and the value proposition you offer to the enterprise.
Matot: Seculert is the only malware detection solution that intercepts and collects data from within live botnets. Our unique solution automatically finds malware that has bypassed existing legacy security measures anywhere in the organization, including laptops, mobile devices and remote employees. By pulling external intelligence from live botnets, there are no false positives. We provide an easy-to-understand dashboard, delivered via web browser, that provides definitive threat analysis. Seculert is a pure cloud service with no software, appliances, or setup cost, so users can start protecting themselves in minutes.
Our cloud service is non-intrusive and complementary of enterprises’ existing security infrastructure. It is designed to provide additional cloud malware detection capabilities on top of on-premise security products. Deployment is instant and extremely cost-effective since there is no need for new hardware, software or changes to the corporate network.
SUB: Who are your target users?
Matot: In a broad sense we target enterprises, government agencies and large organizations that need to protect their vital information assets. Our target market really focuses on mid-to-large enterprises. Within this context, we see substantial interest in our solution from major corporations in the software, pharmaceutical, transportation, healthcare, utilities and financial services sectors. Everyone who needs to get better protection from information leaks.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Matot: We do not view ourselves competing with any of the current malware detection and prevention vendors. In fact, we think we can team up with them as we create another angle for attacking the problem. We simply provide another source of security on top of the solutions offered by other vendors in the AV, network appliance, or SIEM space.
SUB: What differentiates Seculert from the competition?
Matot: We detect malware that has gone undetected by existing security measures. This includes backdoors in a company’s network and assets targeted by unknown malware and Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs). By pulling external intelligence from live botnets, we do not produce false positives and organizations can be 100 percent sure that Seculert’s findings represent actual attacks. We use a massive cloud-based ‘big data’ analytics engine that identifies targeted attacks over time. Seculert is also a pure cloud service with no software, appliances, or setup cost. Seculert also protects anyone connecting remotely to the enterprise network including remote employees, customers, partners.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Matot: We were founded in 2010 and we brought our first solution to market in Q2 2011.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for Seculert? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Matot: We noticed that malware evolved from simply targeting e-banking consumers to what is known today as APTs, which targets enterprises. The existing security solutions were falling short on protection. The ‘aha’ moment came when we discovered that we could provide a huge value add to enterprises by detecting malware that had been able to bypass the existing security measures without installing anything on premise.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Matot: Like any startup, we face many obstacles: technological—dealing with tremendous amounts of data, initial funding, sales, go-to-market ,etc.
SUB: You recently raised $5.35 million in new funding. Why was this a good time to raise a round, and how do you plan to use the new funds?
Matot: Funding will be used to further invest in sales and product development teams as well as establish a U.S. presence.
SUB: How does the company generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?
Matot: The solution is currently sold directly or via distribution partners. It is provided as a service that does not touch the enterprise network and compute devices. In the coming months we are planning to allow customers to consume the service over the web—auto provisioning the service—with a free trial. Currently 70 percent of sales are direct and the rest are through the channel.
SUB: What are your goals for Seculert over the next year or so?
Matot: Seculert’s Research Lab is fully committed to uncovering the latest security threats, as you might have seen with the research around Madhi. We also have a product launch scheduled for late Q3. While I can’t say too much about the nature of this, it involves security and big data analysis.
Seculert – www.seculert.com