Author: AllegisCap

Security and Privacy is Sometimes Suspect, but Growth of the Cloud Marches On

  |   Allegis News, The Latest

 

 

By Robert R. Ackerman Jr. | January 12, 2017

 

 

We increasingly hear that the most-discussed computing paradigm, cloud computing – especially the public cloud — is resuming its sharp rate of growth after a lull and poised to accelerate further. This is refreshing news in a world ever-more obsessed with security, underscoring that cloud purveyors are making progress in getting security right.

 

The attractions of cloud computing are obvious to those immersed in the enterprise computing arena. CIOs note that the cloud allows them to shift costs from capital budgets to operating budgets. Often, they can purchase only the resources they actually need. Cloud computing eases the process of adding or subtracting computing power on demand. And it better accommodates a mobile workforce and cutting-edge technology, such as user interface design.

But cloud computing must take additional steps to maximize privacy and security.

The belief is widespread that storing personal data, in particular, in the cloud might undermine its privacy. After all, companies that embrace the cloud lose direct control of their technology, abolishing a traditional security priority. This begs a question. Given the increasing perception of misuse of people’s digital information, is the price of cloud adoption – and the concomitant loss of proprietary security and privacy control — ultimately too high?

Happily, the answer is no. In some ways, the security offered by leading cloud vendors is superior to security at the typical corporate level. Still, cloud purveyors know they must do better still. One key step toward this end is the aggressive development of so-called homomorphic encryption, which some computer security experts have described as “the holy grail” of computer security. Customers must be vigilant, however, and invest the time to properly mitigate all security and privacy risks before and throughout cloud adoption. This is imperative not only to maximize security but to make CIOs and CISOs comfortable as they transition applications and data to the cloud.

Even though the cloud has been part of the IT arena for about 15 years, there are still lots of questions about how it works and how secure it really is. So corporate IT executives must make a point of garnering the information they need about physical security, the handling of security incidents, logs of security attacks, compliance, and backup and recovery, among other things.

How secure is the cloud? Potentially sensitive data is at risk from insider attacks, but competent cloud vendors are in a position to close that hole. And despite the explosion of high-profile cyber attacks costing major companies billions of dollars and loss of customer loyalty, a number of them didn’t directly penetrate the cloud or the data center. Rather, they compromised end points, such as end user laptops, payment terminals and myriad Internet of Things (IoT) devices. An improperly used device or inadequate protection is all it takes to open the door to a hacker.

Meanwhile, in the productivity-obsessed business world, companies continue to spend aggressively to move into cloud computing. According to Gartner, the growth rate of corporate spending on the cloud began rebounding last year – up 16 percent to more  than $200 billion globally —  after slowing in 2015 and has moved beyond application testing to cloud-based applications and platforms.

Another report by McKinsey & Co. projects that the biggest gains in cloud computing going forward will come from historically change-resistant large enterprises. Based on a survey of 800 CIOs and IT executives worldwide, 77 percent of companies in 2015 used traditional IT infrastructure as the chief environment for at least one workload. In 2018, that will drop to 43 percent, the survey says. Concurrently, companies using the public cloud will grow from 25 percent in 2015 to 37 percent in 2018.

Separately, the major cloud purveyors – Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft — have all been opening multiple data centers in Europe, not only to expand their market but also to satisfy security and privacy-oriented European companies that want to store information closer to home.

In another key cloud computing front – innovation – Amazon has just rolled out a new service to help protect customers against denial-of-service attacks. Far more significantly, major technology companies such as IBM and Microsoft and startups such as Fulton, Md., based Enveil are also working hard on the development of homomorphic encryption to push cloud computing privacy and security to a higher level. When enterprises need to process encrypted data today, it must first be decrypted, a major security vulnerability. Homomorphic encryption would allow data to remain encrypted while being processed, plugging this security hole.

None of this should suggest that cloud computing customers can be complacent. In weighing the transition to cloud computing, they must have a clear understanding of potential security risks and set realistic expectations with their cloud provider. Failure to ensure appropriate security and privacy protection when using cloud services can lead to higher costs and the potential loss of business, eliminating any benefits.

Potential risks that must be addressed by customers in the cloud transition process include:

  • Making sure that none of the components of security fall through the cracks. Responsibility over aspects of security may be split between the cloud provider and the customer. Failure to allocate responsibility clearly could create security holes.
  • Making sure that your cloud service provider conducts thorough background checks on employees with physical access to data center servers. Also affirm that data centers are frequently monitored for suspicious activity.
  • Making sure your cloud provider appropriately protects the privacy of data subject to the legal requirements of regulation, such as The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • Making sure the identity of users is established with certainty. Remember that cloud resources are accessed from anywhere on the Internet. Strong authentication and authorization are critical.
  • Making sure that the cloud provider has appropriate certifications in place. Customer efforts to achieve certification may be futile if the cloud provider cannot provide evidence of its own compliance with requirements. There can also be problems if the cloud provider doesn’t permit audits by the cloud customer.
  • Making sure security breaches are handled professionally. The detection, reporting and management of security breaches may be delegated to the cloud provider, but these incidents impact the customer. Negotiate notification rules so that you are promptly and fully informed of problems.
  • Lastly, bear in mind you are tied tightly to any particular cloud provider, for better or worse. Applications and data across providers is not easily portable. Because it is difficult to switch to another provider, do everything possible to choose the right one in the first place.

It is obvious that the cloud, coupled with mobile computing, means that the IT landscape reaches far beyond an organization’s premises. This creates new security holes, and the explosive growth of IoT devices further compounds the challenge each and every day. The good news is that these challenges are hardly insurmountable. Strict attention to key details is a cornerstone of cloud computing security.

 

 

Robert Ackerman Jr.    by Robert Ackerman Jr. | Founder and Managing Director, Allegis Capital

 

Article found here: www.rsaconference.com

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Signifyd Signs On Chendong Zou, Previously at IBM and Rocket Fuel, as VP of Engineering to Amplify Machine Learning and Eliminate Fraud for E-Commerce Merchants

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SAN JOSE, Calif.–Signifyd, the fastest-growing provider of guaranteed fraud protection for e-commerce businesses, announced today the hiring of Chendong Zou, as its new Vice President of Engineering. This strategic addition comes just months after a $19 million round of Signifyd funding led by Amex Ventures, Menlo Ventures and TriplePoint Capital last September. For almost twenty years, Zou has used Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and big data science to empower businesses through automation and predictability. In his new role, Zou’s aim will be to further advance Signifyd’s machine learning technology which eliminates fraud losses for ecommerce merchants and is backed by a 100% financial guarantee. Zou earned his PhD in Computer Science from Northeastern University.

“His years of experience managing real-time machine learning and strategic integrations with market leaders will help scale our platform to meet the growing demands of our customers and partners.”

Prior to joining Signifyd, Zou served as the VP of Engineering at Rocket Fuel, a programmatic marketing company that uses AI and big data to precisely predict behaviors for each customer as their priorities and motivations change from moment to moment. Zou helped scale the team at Rocket Fuel through the company’s impressive IPO in 2013. In the early 2000s, Zou served as a Senior Technical Engineer for CrossWorlds Software, Inc that enabled businesses to integrate enterprise processes for their specific industry. After CrossWorlds was acquired by IBM for $129 million, Zou continued working on the architecture for WebSphere BPM for many years.

“I’m ecstatic to make the transition from adtech to the fraud prevention space and believe my experiences at Rocket Fuel and IBM will provide a fresh perspective on how disparate data from dynamic sources can be scaled in real-time to meet the needs of a rapidly growing customer base,” said Zou. “I look forward to scaling Signifyd’s engineering team and its infrastructure, as well as keeping Signifyd’s real-time machine learning ahead of fraudsters and any existing solution in the market.”

Signifyd’s confidence in its Engineering team and its real-time machine learning is demonstrated by its 100% financial guarantee against fraud for its customers. Far from the outdated score-reporting methods used by traditional fraud prevention companies, Signifyd provides an instant “Approve” or “Decline” decision for every order it evaluates. Signifyd serves over 5,000 ecommerce merchants, including Fortune 1000 retailers like Jet.com, Lacoste, and Peet’s Coffee & Tea.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have Chendong lead Signifyd’s mission to eliminate fraud losses for ecommerce merchants,” said Raj Ramanand CEO and co-founder of Signifyd. “His years of experience managing real-time machine learning and strategic integrations with market leaders will help scale our platform to meet the growing demands of our customers and partners.”

Signifyd is integrated with larger fraud prevention solutions, such as Accertify, to provide enterprise customers with flexible protection options from within their existing platform. Signifyd is also integrated with leading ecommerce platform Magento and ThreatMetrix® The Digital Identity Company™.

About Signifyd

Signifyd was founded on the belief that e-commerce businesses should be able to grow without fear of fraud. Signifyd solves the challenges that growing e-commerce businesses persistently face: billions of dollars lost in chargebacks, customer dissatisfaction from mistaken declines, and operational costs due to tedious, manual transaction investigation. Signifyd Guaranteed Payments protect online retailers against fraud and chargebacks with a 100% financial guarantee against fraud for every approved order. Signifyd’s full-service machine-learning engine automates fraud prevention allowing businesses to increase sales and open new markets while reducing risk. Signifyd is in use by multiple companies on the Fortune 1000 and Internet Retailer Top 500 list. Signifyd was recognized as one of the 50 most innovative Fintech companies of 2016 by Forbes and is headquartered in San Jose, CA. For more information, please visit www.signifyd.com.

Contacts

VSC for Signifyd
Kayla Abbassi
Senior Account Executive
kayla@vscpr.com

Article found here: www.businesswire.com

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Security VCs Predict Rise In Managed Security Services In 2017

  |   Allegis News, The Latest

 

CRN | By Sarah Kuranda | January 3, 2017, 9:27 am EST

 

Security industry venture capitalists said the role of managed security service providers (MSSPs) will become more important as enterprise customers deal with a new host of security concerns.

“I see a continued significant expansion in the market for managed security services,” said Bob Ackerman, founder and managing director at Allegis Capital, a cybersecurity-dedicated venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage investments.

Driving that growth is an accelerating threat landscape, Ackerman said, which only a “small percentage” of businesses have the technical resources to handle, pushing them to turn to MSSPs.

Alberto Yepez, co-founder and managing director of Trident Cybersecurity, a fund of prominent VC firm Trident Capital that focuses on cybersecurity investments, said he sees the same trend. He said customers are recognizing that they need help and are becoming more and more willing to outsource their security, automation, and remote management to third-party companies, like MSSPs.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the [managed security services] community,” Yepez said. “We’re seeing more and more companies that go after people that can help them deliver the solution-as-a-service. They will want the technology providers, but they want to make sure their resellers have the capability to offer their product-as-a-service and as a managed security service.”

Market confusion is also at play, Menlo Ventures Managing Director Venky Ganesan, said, as customers are inundated every day by new security solutions solving each aspect of the security problem. Customers are looking for “people with deep domain expertise” to help them navigate that landscape, he said.

The numbers show that trend is already starting to play out, with research firm MarketsandMarkets predicting the market for managed security services to grow to $35.5 billion by 2020, up from around $17.8 billion in 2015. For scale, MarketsandMarkets also predicts that the security industry overall, including all parts, will be $202.4 billion by 2021, up from $112.5 billion in 2016.

VCs expect to see a lot of growth and investment around the automation, orchestration and integration of managed security services. Those capabilities become more important as the number of vendors vying for a piece of a company’s security budget grows, and customers must implement new solutions in a way that can be managed, Allegis Capital’s Ackerman said.

“You will see more and more customers looking for more integrated solutions so they don’t have to parse all the bits and pieces and decide which they want and take responsibility for integrating them. They want fewer vendor offerings and more integrated solutions,” Ackerman said.

As managed security services grow in prominence, that market itself will begin to change, Trident Cybersecurity’s Yepez said. He said he expects to see a lot of acquisition in the MSSP space, both with other companies buying their way into managed security services and consolidation to create scale.

“It’s a great market. One thing I’ve learned is that security innovation doesn’t happen in the lab – security innovation comes from the new problems that customers are trying to solve … All these new technology platforms create new attack surfaces that need to be secured and then you need to integrate and automate them,” Yepez said. “I think managed security services will be a good market that will continue to evolve in the years to come.”

Article found here: www.crn.com

 

 

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Trump Administration Needs To Set U.S. Cybersecurity Mandates

  |   Allegis News, The Latest

 

 

XCONOMY | By Robert R. Ackerman Jr. | January 4th, 2017

 

Robert R. Ackerman

Cybersecurity is the penultimate existential risk to the United States—economically, militarily, socially, and as we have seen recently, politically. The nature of cyber is asymmetric, and given the size of the U.S. economy, our reliance on intellectual property, and the leadership role the U.S. plays in the Community of Nations, we have a lot more to lose than we have to gain in the digital wars of cyberspace. We are target #1 for all comers.

While political rhetoric has been heating up around cybersecurity, for too long, there has been a lot more talk than concrete and substantive action from a public policy perspective.

The incoming administration needs to envision and enact a concerted initiative to ensure America is “cyber secure.” A well-rounded initiative would integrate:

1) Public policy requiring a flexible framework ensuring corporate responsibility, accountability and liability for their cybersecurity;

2) A national initiative, combining expertise and financial resources, to harden critical infrastructure with national economic and security implications—a national Cyber Works program;

3) Concerted support of cyber education at the high school and higher education levels to ensure a trained pool of talent to support our cybersecurity needs and efforts; and

4) A demonstrated ability to identify and respond to any and all cyber attacks targeting U.S. national interests. In essence, we need to create the cyber equivalent of a “Manhattan Project” to secure our welfare, safety, culture, and values in the uncontrolled and unmanaged domain of cyber space.

The key is that the Trump administration should set these requirements for accountability, and then let industry decide how to satisfy them. Government regulations tend to be broadly applied and inflexible—a problem in cyber, where flexibility is essential and there is no such thing as “one-size-fits-all.” So it’s best to give industry the freedom to figure out how to meet these government mandates.

Robert R. Ackerman, Jr. is the founder and managing director of Allegis Capital, a Palo Alto, CA-based early stage venture capital firm that specializes in cybersecurity.

Article found here: xconomy.com

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Cybersecurity Investors Reset, Look at Changing 2017 Landscape

  |   Allegis News, The Latest

Consolidation of startups is set to repeat as venture firms take on cautious stance

In 2016 venture capitalists invested $1.6 billion in cybersecurity startups, as of mid-December, according to the most recent data available from Dow Jones VentureSource. That falls well short of the $3.4 billion take for all of 2015.
That deal-making highlighted investors’ “wait and see” approach as concerns grew about the lofty valuations companies drew in 2014 and early 2015. Cybersecurity enjoyed a boom following a series of high-profile breaches, with enterprises beefing up spending on security products as legacy security providers struggled to provide innovative services.
Publicly traded security companies had a shake-up of their own. One of the leaders, Symantec Corp., acquired Blue Coat Systems in a $4.65 million deal. Intel Corp. sold the majority stake in its security business to private-equity firm TPG.
“In 2016, you had the attempted rise of the establishment to reassert itself,” said Kleiner Perkins General Partner Ted Schlein. “You saw the old guys trying to be relevant.”
Additionally customers faced a dizzying number of startups releasing cybersecurity products. Don Dixon, a managing partner at Trident Capital, said chief security officers he speaks to want “fewer throats to choke” instead of spreading their expenses around a multitude of vendors.
“They would like to see products more integrated rather than spend a lot on systems integration,” Mr. Dixon said.
Several venture capitalists said the consolidation the industry saw in 2016 will continue into 2017, in part because of a higher number of potential acquirers.
Mature IT companies like Oracle Corp. have been active in cybersecurity for some time, but now financial acquirers like Vista Equity increasingly are raising their profile as buyers, according to Mr. Dixon. Moreover, he said industrial companies like General Electric Co. and Emerson Electric Co. are increasingly investing in “Internet of Things” software, and they could potentially become active in acquiring security startups.
Bob Ackerman, managing partner at Allegis Capital, said venture firms have grown more cautious as they learn that not all the capital has been smartly deployed.

“This stuff is really hard, and unless you know the difference, it’s easy to invest in things that are not well-differentiated,” Mr. Ackerman said.

How the industry’s later-stage companies perform in the public markets could also affect private fundraising. This year saw a dearth of cybersecurity IPOs, and investors are closely watching the likes of Okta, ForeScout and Carbon Black, all of whom have signaled they are considering public offerings in 2017.

Also looming large is how the Trump administration, as well as unforeseeable world events, may affect security trends. Venture investors said the president-elect’s muscular talk on security could translate into a boon for the industry.

“I think that you’re going to see an increase in government security spending,” said Enrique Salem, a managing director at Bain Capital Ventures. “It’s hard to imagine any way you wouldn’t, given the amount of attention it’s getting.”

But there’s a question as to how easily startups could take advantage of such government spending. Startups often have struggled to bring on federal agencies as customers because the lengthy process puts a strain on small sales teams. The Obama administration used programs such as the Pentagon’s DIUx initiative to help bridge the divide. It is unclear how the new administration will treat that issue.

Apart from federal spending on cybersecurity, investors say there are many new security concerns that startups are uniquely poised to take on. Several say they are closely watching platforms addressing new attack vectors, such as those that might affect the Internet of Things.

Others predict 2017 will be the year that automation makes significant strides in cybersecurity. Investors say they’re looking to make bets on software that could augment the limited number security professionals, who are in high demand and command high salaries.

Mr. Ackerman said that certain companies with very differentiated approaches will succeed in 2017 as cyberthreats grow and enterprises continue to increase spending on products. However he noted that beyond high-end financial service providers, many IT managers want security programs that are more integrated, and some companies may struggle in that new reality.

“It will be a tale of two markets,” he said.

Write to Cat Zakrzewski at cat.zakrzewski@wsj.com

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Industry Needs Common Security Standards to Thwart IoT Attacks

  |   Allegis News, The Latest

 

 

XCONOMY | By Robert R. Ackerman Jr. | December 21, 2016

 

A silver lining has emerged in the wake of the massive and well-publicized denial-of-service attack launched less than two months ago by hackers using millions of IoT devices to cripple the websites of major companies like Amazon, Netflix and Twitter. This ambush has triggered a redoubling of efforts to focus on the need for industry-led cybersecurity standards for IoT devices.

Even some in Washington, such as U.S. Senator Mark Warner, favor an industry-based approach before seeking some sort of government IoT security standards implementation. Security-minded business coalitions are stepping up activity in this area— and the more, the merrier.

After all, it isn’t clear in the United States who is supposed to be protecting the Internet. Most IoT (Internet of Things) devices have been hooked up to the Web in recent years with little concern for security, with weak password protection or none at all. There is no formal watchdog — not the government, nor for that matter, anyone else.

Instead, every organization is responsible for defending its own tiny piece of the Internet landscape. Companies and social media hubs are supposed to invest in protecting their websites and often do, but that doesn’t accomplish much if the connections among them are severed, as was the case in the October attack.

There is no way to know for sure if an industry-based IoT unified security approach will work. But it is certainly worth a shot. We know that the highly fluid nature of cyber threats nearly guarantees that government’s traditional approach to regulation (fixed and inflexible) is almost certainly doomed to failure. I believe that the Trump administration must envision and enact a concerted initiative to insure that America is “cyber secure”—but in a broad sense, leaving the specific details to industry players. Industry participants and their suppliers should assume the actual responsibility for stitching together best practices by which to meet government mandates. Ultimately, they are in the best position to combat evolving threats.

The dearth of effective IoT security is no secret. A survey of 220 information security professionals who attended the Black Hat USA conference this year found that 78 percent are concerned about the weaponizaton of IoT devices for use in distributed denial-of-service attacks. Similarly, a survey by Tripwire, a digital security firm, found that only 30 percent of the organizations polled are prepared for security risks associated with IoT devices.

It makes sense for the business community to take the first swipe at resolving the IoT security issue. Some experts suggest some basic security safeguards that manufacturers should provide, such as a unique user name and password for each IoT device. Even more folks are talking about some sort of up-to-date industry “seal of approval” or comparative ratings system regarding the security readiness of IoT devices. The private sector also would do well to try to tap into the expertise of the U.S. intelligence and defense communities, which are rumored to have developed expertise in IoT security.

Separately, collaboration between industry experts and standards groups is already robust. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has a Communications Technology Laboratory examining security in the context of IoT and 5G networks. Other groups, such as the International Standards Organization, Underwriters Laboratory, ATIS, IEEE and the 3rd Generation Partnership Project are collaboratively working on similar issues.

At the same time, at least two industry groups — the Online Trust Alliance and a separate coalition of security firms, including Symantec and ARM Security Systems — have also stepped up to the plate to improve IoT security. The security firm coalition has developed the Open Trust Protocol to provide secure architecture and code management to protect connected devices. The OTP’s architecture uses technologies deployed in banking and for handling sensitive data on smartphones and tablets. It’s designed to work with security software to protect IoT and mobile devices from malicious attacks.

Meanwhile, the Online Trust Alliance, a non-profit with the mission to enhance online trust, has established the OTA Trust IoT Framework as the first global, multi-stakeholder effort to address IoT risks comprehensively. It includes a baseline of 31 measurable principles that device manufacturers and developers should follow to help maximize the security of devices and data collected for smart homes and wearable technologies.

What these consortiums know all too well is that a specific IoT device may not be the actual target of an attack. That device, however, might be highly attractive as a gateway to the network to which it is connected—the real targets being the valuable enterprise assets on that network.

This problem, I should add, isn’t limited to the enterprise. It can also impact home security.

Consider, for example, a smart home equipped with a garage door opener with the added ability to deactivate the home alarm upon entry. This is good for a homeowner entering his home in a hurry. The catch is that now the entire alarm system could potentially be deactivated when only the garage door opener is compromised.

The broad array of Web-connected home devices — including TVs, home thermostats, door locks and home alarms— creates myriad connection points for hackersto gain entry into IoT residential ecosystems.

While companies and industries unite to correct such shortcomings in the home and in the enterprise, individual corporate CIOs, in particular, must push to address the challenges associated with IoT security.

The most important interim step is for CIOs to create a strong governance framework for IoT devices to meet corporate security standards. Such devices, just like any other touch points, must fit within an organization’s security strategy as a whole to prevent data leakages and other privacy breaches. Proactive planning of network and infrastructure upgrades is essential to enable proactive defense.

Having taken meaningful steps already, hopefully the private sector will work toward a viable, agreed-upon solution to the current IoT security nightmare. I, for one, am confident this will happen, albeit with a time lag. Despite some shortcomings, cybersecurity overall has made substantial progress in recent years. It’s time that IoT joined the club.

Article found here: xconomy.com

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Signifyd and ThreatMetrix® Combine Machine Learning and Digital Identities to Eliminate Online Payment Fraud

  |   Portfolio News, The Latest
 
SAN JOSE, Calif.–Leading ecommerce fraud prevention company, Signifyd and ThreatMetrix®, The Digital Identity Company® announced today they will combine efforts to eliminate online fraud for their customers. The partnership enables ecommerce merchants to remove the liability for fraud by leveraging the power of the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network® through Signifyd’s Guaranteed Payments solution.

“As online fraud evolves at an ever-increasing pace, merchants need new ways to mitigate risk. Signifyd’s use of the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network in its Guaranteed Payments solution allows merchants to aggressively grow their business and accept more legitimate customers without risk”

Signifyd’s VP of Partnerships, Skye Spear, summarizes what the partnership means for ecommerce merchants, “ThreatMetrix provides global shared intelligence on more than a billion digital identities. The ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network provides additional insights for Signifyd’s machine learning capabilities enabling us to authenticate orders from customers who may have previously been denied. We’re able to incorporate additional data in real-time to identify and mitigate sophisticated fraud scenarios across one or more of our customers emulating multiple buying identities. Our goal is to increase decision confidence for online merchants through a managed service that’s backed by a financial guarantee.”

Through the partnership, Signifyd will leverage the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network to further enhance Signifyd’s Guaranteed Payments, which provide a 100% financial guarantee against fraud on every approved order. This new intelligence and subsequent guarantee allows merchants to accept more orders without the risk of chargebacks as the liability of fraud losses are shifted to Signifyd. Guaranteed Payments are ideal for fast-growing businesses, merchants in fraud-prone industries and those looking to expand overseas or in new markets and segments previously considered too risky.

“As online fraud evolves at an ever-increasing pace, merchants need new ways to mitigate risk. Signifyd’s use of the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network in its Guaranteed Payments solution allows merchants to aggressively grow their business and accept more legitimate customers without risk,” commented Leah Evanski, ThreatMetrix VP Strategic Alliances.

Signifyd and ThreatMetrix together provide a winning alternative to merchants using restrictive platforms that decline legitimate orders, delay shipments and are unable to eliminate chargebacks. Even other fraud prevention platforms with machine learning lack the closed loop for data feedback that Signifyd and ThreatMetrix provide with Guaranteed Payments and the Digital Identity Network. This partnership allows Signifyd and ThreatMetrix to leverage extensive fraud data and expertise to stop subsequent attempts at fraud, regardless of merchant size, industry or value of transaction. With more data and complete transparency, Signifyd and ThreatMetrix can significantly reduce financial losses from fraud for merchants.

About Signifyd

Signifyd was founded on the belief that e-commerce businesses should be able to grow without fear of fraud. Signifyd solves the challenges that growing e-commerce businesses persistently face: billions of dollars lost in chargebacks, customer dissatisfaction from mistaken declines, and operational costs due to tedious, manual transaction investigation. Signifyd Guaranteed Payments protect online retailers against fraud and chargebacks with a 100% financial guarantee against fraud for every approved order. Signifyd’s full-service machine-learning engine automates fraud prevention allowing businesses to increase sales and open new markets while reducing risk. Signifyd is in use by multiple companies on the Fortune 1000 and Internet Retailer Top 500 list. Signifyd was recognized as one of the 50 most innovative Fintech companies of 2016 by Forbes and is headquartered in San Jose, CA. For more information, please visit www.signifyd.com.

About ThreatMetrix

ThreatMetrix®, The Digital Identity Company®, is the market-leading cloud solution for authenticating digital personas and transactions on the Internet. Verifying more than 20 billion annual transactions supporting 30,000 websites and 4,000 customers globally through the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network®, ThreatMetrix secures businesses and end users against account takeover, payment fraud and fraudulent account registrations resulting from malware and data breaches. Key benefits include an improved customer experience, reduced friction, revenue gain and lower fraud and operational costs. The ThreatMetrix solution is deployed across a variety of industries, including financial services, ecommerce, payments and lending, media, government and insurance. ThreatMetrix is headquartered in San Jose, CA. For more information, please visit www.threatmetrix.com.

Contacts

VSC for Signifyd
Kayla Abbassi, 562-412-2038
kayla@vscpr.com
or
ThreatMetrix
Upright Position Communications
Paul Wilke, 415-881-7995
paul@uprightcomms.com

Find article here businesswire.com

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Building a New Cybersecurity Startup Platform: DataTribe

  |   Allegis News, Portfolio News, The Latest

 

 

National Venture Capital Association | By Robert R. Ackerman Jr.

 

If you want to get a sense of the size and significance of the U.S. cybersecurity ecosystem in one location, a must-visit is the National Business Park at Fort Meade in Maryland. It is highly impressive and may someday serve as a stellar example of an effective new way to participate in the startup ecosystem and its venture capital brethren.

Fort Meade has been transformed from an Army base into a sprawling cyber city. Thirteen years ago, the young park had 10 buildings. Today, the square footage of the 28-building complex is roughly half the size of the Pentagon, and it is completely full. Tenants include the National Security Agency, the U.S. Cyber Command, the Defense Information Systems Agency and the cybersecurity businesses of Boeing and General Dynamics, among others.

This represents a snapshot of the breadth of the U.S. cybersecurity industry today, albeit only one relatively small piece because the private sector has come to dwarf the size of the government sector. In 2004, the global cybersecurity market was $3.5 billion. This year, it’s expected to exceed $122 billion, according to Research and Markets, which also projects that it will exceed $202 billion by 2021. Cybersecurity has become by far the fastest-growing sector of information technology. The growth of the sector is also apparent from the recent increase in cybersecurity acquisitions.

The venture capital ecosystem has responded accordingly and, along the way, has had to develop its own cyber experts internally to separate the wheat from the chaff among cybersecurity startups – a world immersed in the domain of deep science and advanced engineering and one in which expertise is essential. VCs also have to approach potential cybersecurity startup investments gingerly because too many “me-too” companies are being funded by a venture community eager to participate in one of the hottest sectors of IT innovation.

Nonetheless, the cybersecurity investment picture remains very bright. Last year, VCs invested $3.2 billion in 219 cyber startups, more than double the total funding in 2012, according to CB Insights. Last year, five of the seven (seven confirmed, nine rumored) private cybersecurity unicorns reached their required $1 billion valuations. This year, while cooling a bit, cybersecurity VC funding remains vibrant.  As the founder of Allegis Capital, a Silicon Valley early-stage cybersecurity venture firm, it’s no surprise that I enjoy the proliferation of cyber startups in the Valley. At the same time, the cyber expertise around Fort Meade has always been impressive and so I’ve invested in Maryland-based cyber startups over the years. To put things in context, Maryland has more than three times as many cyber engineers as the rest of the country combined, and many work at the cutting edge, out of the necessity that comes with national defense imperatives.

Despite this wealth of engineering and technical expertise, start-up success in the Washington D.C. Beltway has faced a series of obstacles. No startup succeeds solely on the strength of its technological prowess. Also essential to success is entrepreneurial experience, startup “know how” and a broad cross section of commercial skills, contacts and customer and partner relationships. In other words, the cyber community around the Washington Beltway has needed a mini Silicon Valley ecosystem and the Silicon Valley “playbook”.

That’s why DataTribe was created—to merge the cyber security innovation of Maryland with the startup building expertise and resources of Silicon Valley. DataTribe is a cybersecurity startup platform – a crucible in which to forge start-ups – co-based in Fulton, Md., and Silicon Valley – and one dedicated to leveraging the expertise created from working with the most advanced information technologies forged by the NSA and related institutions, as well as national laboratories.

DataTribe focuses on those areas of innovation in which government labs, out of necessity, have been innovating in cybersecurity, data and analytics well in advance of the commercial market. DataTribe’s business model is unique, partly because it is an operating company, not a venture firm, although it can provide startups with up to $1.5 million in seed capital (with follow-on participation in subsequent rounds).  It’s also unique in that DataTribe itself creates the concept for each startup and co-founds each company with a team of technologists with deep, relevant technical expertise and experience. These are teams that have “been there and done that” in production environments.  Supporting these efforts on a daily basis is an operating team of highly experienced, dedicated executives with decades of successful start-up experience in Silicon Valley and Boston.

DataTribe will co-found and launch three start-ups a year. The first three startups came on board in this inaugural year and are already gaining market traction…

Dragos — recently named one of Cybersecurity Ventures “Cybersecurity 500” top companies  — was the first of the startups. It specializes in network mapping, detection and remediation of cybersecurity problems in industrial control systems. The second, Enveil, is developing the first commercial solution for end-to-end lifecycle encryption; including data-in-use (homomorphic encryption based Cloud Security). The third company, Kesala, is developing lightweight solutions for low cost and ad-hoc, secure virtual private networks as well as cloud-based security monitoring of large-scale traffic.

The cybersecurity market is large, rapidly growing and driven by non-stop innovation. It is enormously complex at every level – within its individual components, in its connection to complex networks and in its relationship to data in all its forms and flows. You simply can’t learn fast enough from a standing start.

DataTribe is bringing the Silicon Valley playbook to the nation’s center of innovation excellence in cyber-related domains to forge a new generation of cyber security startups.  In time and with success, we expect to see the emergence of a self-sustaining cybersecurity startup ecosystem, fueled by an unusually deep reservoir of relevant U.S. technical talent. In a broader sense, this is how Silicon Valley started, and there is no reason why a smaller, more concentrated version can’t take root on the other side of the country.

Robert R. Ackerman Jr. is founder and managing director of Allegis Capital, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based early stage venture capital firm specializing in cybersecurity.  Ackerman is a co-founder of DataTribe and Allegis Capital is a strategic partner.

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Article found here: nvcaconnection

 

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The CyberWire Special Edition: Venture Capital

  |   Allegis News, The Latest

In this CyberWire Podcast Special Edition, we examine the current state of investment in cyber security, speak to experts in the field, and learn from top cyber security-focused venture capitalists what they expect before they invest.

The CyberWire | November 29, 2016

There’s no question that cyber security remains a hot industry, and that attracts investment. What are venture capitalists looking for, and how do they decide which deals to make? How did we get here, and what’s the outlook for the future?

We round up some experts, as well as some of the top cyber security venture capitalists in the industry to find out how they choose, and what they expect once the deal’s been made.

  • Robert R. Ackerman, Jr. is founder and managing partner at Allegis Capital. They describe themselves as, “a leading seed and early stage venture capital investor in companies building disruptive and innovative cybersecurity solutions for the global digital economy.” allegiscap.com
  • Alberto Yepez is co-founder and managing director at Trident Capital Cybersecurity. In their own words, “We know cybersecurity. It’s all we invest in. And we care about making the world a more secure place to live.” tridentcybersecurity.com
  • Tom Kellermann is CEO of Strategic Cyber Ventures. They say they are, “the industry’s first investment vehicle for synergistic cybersecurity technologies focused on disrupting the adversary.” scvgroup.net
  • Tami Howie is executive director of the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council. Prior to that, as a lawyer, she has been involved with the successful exits of over 150 companies and has represented technology companies, investors, SBICs and underwriters such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. chesapeaketech.org
  • Dr. Christopher Pierson is general counsel and chief security officer at Viewpost, an electronic payments and invoicing company. Prior to joining Viewpost, Chris was the Senior Vice President, Chief Privacy Officer for the Royal Bank of Scotland’s U.S. banking operations. viewpost.com
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Cylance is revolutionizing cybersecurity with products and services that proactively prevent, rather than reactively detect the execution of advanced persistent threats and malware. Learn more at cylance.com.

Article found here https://thecyberwire.com

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Inphi Corp. (IPHI) to Acquire ClariPhy Communications in $275M Deal

  |   Portfolio News, The Latest

 

November 1, 2016 | Streetinsider | Inphi Corporation (NYSE: IPHI) announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ClariPhy Communications Inc., a leading provider of ultra-high-speed systems-on-chip (SoCs) for multi-terabit data, long haul and metro networking markets for $275 million in cash as well as the assumption of certain liabilities at the close. The acquisition is expected to close in December of 2016, at which time ClariPhy’s employees are expected to join Inphi.

“With the acquisition of ClariPhy, we are completing our product portfolio as the leading component and platform supplier for optical networking customers,” said Ford Tamer, president and CEO of Inphi. “The ClariPhy coherent DSP complements Inphi TiA, driver, optical PHY and silicon photonics components to provide system OEM and module customers high-performance and low power platform solutions. Following closing, we expect to have platform offerings for long haul, metro, DCI edge, and intra-data center applications. We believe this will provide customers with faster time-to-market, proven quality, and competitive cost.”

As the world turns toward optical networking, the ability to communicate in “coherent” DWDM technology over both long and short distances is becoming increasingly important. ClariPhy is one of only three merchant suppliers with this coherent DSP technology in the world today. On the product front, following closing, Inphi expects to be able to offer customers (1) coherent DSP, TiA, drivers for long haul, and metro, (2) direct detect PAM DSP-based solutions for DCI edge between data centers, and (3) NRZ and PAM short reach solutions for inside data centers. On the component front, following closing, Inphi expects to be able to offer TiA, driver, silicon photonics, coherent DSP, PAM and NRZ physical layer devices.

IHS estimates the total available market for 100G & 200G coherent optical network hardware will grow at 18% CAGR, from $3.2 billion to $7.4 billion, between 2015 and 2020. This growth will be driven by several concurrent, powerful tailwinds: the optical super cycle, a growing and expanding SAM (serviceable available market), opportunities in regions such as China and with new markets such as Cloud. Inphi believes that this acquisition will position the company to be one of the most comprehensive component and platform suppliers across all three optical market segments inside/outside data centers, metro and long haul.

Strong Additions to the Inphi Team Inphi enthusiastically welcomes the addition of the ClariPhy employees who are expected to join our team as a part of this acquisition. Nariman Yousefi, ClariPhy’s current CEO is expected to join Inphi to run the Coherent DSP business unit. Additionally, the company’s already strong design team is expected to be augmented by ClariPhy’s well-known VP of Engineering and DSP architect, Oscar Agazzi.

Further details of the transaction and arrangements are set out in Inphi’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 1, 2016.

Article found here: streetinsider.com

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