A small Israeli-based cyber security firm, Cybereason, on May 6 said it has closed a new $25 million funding by private equity that includes a strategic investment by Lockheed Martin [LMT], giving the nation’s top defense contractor a stake in the company’s technology and growth.
Cybereason, which has 40 employees split between Israel and Cambridge, Mass., will use the Series B funding to expand its research and development operations in Israel and its sales and marketing team in Massachusetts. The company plans to double the number of its employees by the end of this year, a company spokeswoman told sister publication Defense Daily.
In addition to an equity stake in the firm, Lockheed Martin will have a non-exclusive license to Cybereason’s Malop Hunting Engine software platform and Incident Response Dashboard that provides real-time threat detection and attack-tracing at endpoints and contextual data that Cybereason says eliminates the need for manual investigations. Lockheed Martin will deploy the Cybereason technology internally across 120,000 endpoints and integrate it into its cyber solution portfolio.
The equity stake, the internal use, and the inclusion of the technology as part of Lockheed Martin’s cyber solutions portfolio are “independent business decisions but were all coordinated and timed with the transaction,” Rich Mahler, director of Commercial Cyber Services at Lockheed Martin, told Defense Daily.
The investment also provides Lockheed Martin with “full insight into the product roadmap, we’ve given a lot of input in terms of requirements and capability needs, and future enhancements,” Mahler said, with the plan being “to continue to build out that capability…and grow that footprint across our client base.”
Mahler said that Cybereason’s threat detection product is highly complementary to Lockheed Martin’s existing solutions and follows its cyber kill chain model and “enables us to integrate our intelligence into the solution
Lockheed Martin has been studying the endpoint detection product space for the past year to determine whether it made sense to purchase, integrate or build its own capabilities here, Mahler said. He said Cybereason has the first capability his company came across that “did it the way it should be done” and “could work in the variety of scenarios that we’re looking at here as well as apply that intelligence, which is really the critical piece to be able to do those kinds of detections.”
Cybereason’s technology is behavioral-based and employs big data analytics and machine learning. The company was founded in 2012 and went to market in February 2014. Company officials have said that in a proof of concept demonstration with a U.S. defense contractor, their technology discovered a nation-state attack by Chinese hackers. The contractor wasn’t Lockheed Martin, they said.
The financing round was led by venture capital firm Spark Capital participation from existing investor, the venture capital firm Charles River Ventures, and Lockheed Martin.
Santo Politi, founder and general partner at Spark Capital, has joined Cybereason’s board.
“We like investing in companies where a committed founder builds a sophisticated product with a beautiful user interface,” Politi said in a statement. “Cybereason has incredible momentum, impressive technology, an artistic edge, and an expert team that is fundamentally changing the way organizations deal with cyber security.”
One of Cybereason’s co-founders, Lior Div, was a team commander in an elite cyber security unit of the Israel Defense Force, according to the company’s website.