Major investors including Cisco, Nokia, and Microsoft’s venture-capital arm M-12 pledged $85 million to fund security startups and joined a Team8-led coalition that aims to rethink cybersecurity by building it into network and cloud infrastructure.
Team8 is an Israel-based security company and think tank. Other coalition members include Walmart, Airbus, Softbank, Moody’s, Dimension Data, Munich Re, Scotiabank, and Barclays. Team8’s existing investors — M-12, Cisco Investments, Nokia, Bessemer Venture Partners, Temasek, and Innovation Endeavors — also joined.
Member companies say threats posed by cybercriminals and nation-states inhibit their ability to take advantage of emerging technologies such as blockchain, machine learning, IoT, and virtual reality (VR). These risks require enterprises to rethink how they develop infrastructure, making it “secure by design,” said Matthew Gyde, group executive for security at Dimension Data.
To this end, the coalition adopted a three-pronged, “Thrive by Security” approach:
- Cyber as a catalyst for growth instead of as a defense mechanism.
- Infrastructure that is resilient by design rather than requiring additional layers of security.
- Data science as a prime enabler of business growth if utmost security is built-in to the infrastructure.
Additionally, the members committed $85 million in seed funding for companies that will develop big data and analytics-based technologies to secure infrastructure. These startups will operate independently from the coalition with shared ownership by the investors. The new companies will also have access to Team8’s researchers, scientists, engineers, and analysts, along with chief information, technology, data, and security officers from each of the member organizations.
“Safeguarding and accelerating the transition to the cloud as well as integrating advanced capabilities in security and data science into our platforms and services is a top priority for Microsoft,” said Mony Hassid, general manager and managing director of EMEA at M12, in a statement. He added that Team8’s security veterans and data scientists will help “bring innovative solutions to the market that will help organizations as they pursue their digital transformation initiatives.”
Former leaders of Israel’s military intelligence Unit 8200 founded Team8, which launched in January.
Last week, Team8 announced that former U.S. National Security Advisor Director, Admiral Mike Rogers, joined its board of advisors. It also acquired its first portfolio company Sygnia by Temasek, a global investment company headquartered in Singapore, for $250 million.
To date, Team8 has launched four security companies with four more operating in stealth mode. It says these startups’ technologies secure “dozens” of Fortune 100 and 500 companies.
The group has now raised more than $260 million and employs more than 370 people worldwide.
This concept of built-in as opposed to bolted-on security has been top of mind for security professionals and organizations — and a commonly repeated phrase at the RSA Conference earlier this year. It has also given rise to DevSecOps, or automating core security tasks by embedding security controls and processes into DevOps. In other words, baking security into the code.
But built-in security requires hardware in addition to software, and to this end companies like Oracle are highlighting changes to their infrastructure that help protect customers’ data. At this week’s Oracle OpenWorld, company Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison said Oracle’s bare-metal cloud infrastructure is purpose built for enterprise security and required a complete hardware reconfiguration plus software advances.