Security Innovation Raises $4M to Connect Cars, Fight Hackers

Security Innovation, a Boston-area company that makes software that connects cars and programs that teach employees how to avoid security breaches, has raised $4 million in growth capital.

Existing investor Brook Venture Partners led the round and was joined by Gordon M. Burns, a director of Compass Diversified Holdings. The funding brings the amount the Wilmington, MA-based company has raised in three rounds since 2008 to $13 million. A Security Innovation representative was not immediately available for comment.

Security Innovation will use the money to pay for potential acquisitions, according to a release. Last July, it acquired Safelight, a deal that helped bolster Security Innovation’s line of software and services for application security training. The round also allows it to invest in sales and marketing, which could add 15 new employees to its headcount, the company said.

Since Security Innovation was founded in 2002, it has been both a consulting firm and a software development company. The company’s consultants train developers, IT teams, and non-tech employees on best practices and update them about the latest threats. Much of its software is focused on security education and testing for software vulnerabilities. Security Innovation president and CEO Ed Adams said security training was his company’s fastest growing business line in a release last year that announced the acquisition of Safelight.

But Security Innovation’s most eye-catching software is what it makes to secure “connected cars,” a technology area that brings wireless connectivity and the Internet of Things to automobiles. The company’s product, called Aerolink, allows vehicles to communicate securely with other vehicles and with smart infrastructure, according to Security Innovation’s website.

The vision is that car-to-car or vehicle-to-vehicle communication will allow nearby vehicles to transmit their speeds, locations, and other data to each other. The technology could make driving safer and help usher in the era of self-driving vehicles; automakers such as Cadillac are trying to develop and deploy car-to-car communication in their 2017 vehicles.

Security Innovation participated in multi-year study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the University of Michigan that showed vehicle-to-vehicle communication could be effectively implemented. Its authors extrapolated from the data they collected that the technology could prevent more than a thousand deaths and half a million accidents each year. The study equipped nearly 3,000 cars with experimental transmitters, and Security Innovation developed the encryption and security software used by the vehicles in the study.

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