CyberFlow Analytics Raises $2M from Toshiba for Cybersecurity SaaS
CyberFlow Analytics, a San Diego network security startup officially incorporated just four months ago, said it already has landed a $2 million investment and strategic alliance with Toshiba America Electronic Components.
CyberFlow said it plans to use the funding to commercialize its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) security technology, which is intended to protect the proprietary and confidential information of its customers from online industrial espionage. In a statement yesterday, the company said it considers the Toshiba investment, along with $600,000 previously raised from angel investors, as the anchor in a $4 million seed round that should be completed by November.
CyberFlow said its technology uses Web-based analytic software and machine learning technology for “smart” packet inspection. The company’s approach is fundamentally different from conventional anti-virus software, which compares programs coming into a network against a database of known malware. CyberFlow also avoids another common approach, which involves installing software “security agents” on desktop computers, smartphones, and other user devices to guard against network intrusions.
By using big data analytics and machine learning to monitor IP packets flowing in and out of a network, CyberFlow President Tom Caldwell said CyberFlow Analytics establishes a base line of normal behavior for devices on the network—and then watches for deviations from the norm. As Caldwell puts it, “We’re looking at the right packet at right time for the right result.”
CyberFlow said its technology provides companies with an early warning system for cyber attacks, before Internet intruders can disable, destroy, or steal important data.
“We’re going after the global enterprise market,” Caldwell said by phone yesterday afternoon. “We’re not going after government contracts.” At least two financial institutions have agreed to help test the CyberFlow’s software, he added.
The company was able to attract substantial funding because of the strength of its management team, Caldwell said. He previously helped lead San Diego-based LonoCloud to a successful buyout in April, and was an engineering director for more than 11 years at Cisco Systems in San Jose, CA.
Co-founder Hossein Eslambolchi, who is CyberFlow’s chairman and CEO, was a longtime technology executive at AT&T Labs and served as AT&T’s chief technology officer. Eslambolchi, an expert in IP network design and reliability, holds more than 1,000 patents (granted and pending).
Louie Gasparini, CyberFlow’s CTO, was previously the CTO at RSA Security (acquired by Massachusetts computing giant EMC in 2006) and served in various roles as an Internet executive at Wells Fargo Bank for 13 years.
“This really is a great area for cybersecurity software,” Caldwell says of the San Diego region. “I’ve learned that it’s easier to find good candidates in [cybersecurity] software development here than in Silicon Valley.” Largely because of the military presence in San Diego, Caldwell says, “I’ve interviewed a number of people who have been working on security projects already.”