As they seek to break in to organizations and take data, cyber attackers are looking for entry points. In experience as a chief information security officer and working in the intelligence community, Dr. Chris Pierson has seen the attack surface that cybersecurity pros are so often seeking to secure extend to the personal devices of company leaders, and their home wireless networks.
“It expanded beyond corporate devices into the entire digital life of the executive and of the board,” Pierson said.
Even after millions spent by a company on cybersecurity, a device or router that might’ve been bought at a retail store and doesn’t have the same kind of protections a company could become a place for an attacker to gain a foothold and enter a corporate network and perpetrate theft or cyber crime. And at a time when lots of work is taking place from home during the pandemic, it presents more ways to enter, Pierson said.
This “soft underbelly” of a corporation is what led Pierson to found BlackCloak, a company that seeks to protect executives and high-profile people. Along with protecting devices and hardening privacy, the company also offers “concierge” advice and support for a company’s top executives and board members that have access to key info.
The Orlando-based company this week said it raised $1.9 million from Fulton-based DataTribe, which brings funding and expertise to build cyber and data science startups. The company is aiming to expand client relationships and product development.
It will join the ranks of the several companies per year with founders that have intelligence community ties that DataTribe supports. Per DataTribe’s model, the company will get access to resources and expertise that DataTribe’s team of experienced entrepreneurs and startup pros brings to bear as a company looks to get to market. Typically this involves gathering at DataTribe’s space, but it’s currently getting underway remotely, said Chief Product Officer John Funge.
“We’re going to bring all of our resources to bare in terms of accelerating the growth, and making sure we’re using all the relationships we have to help BlackCloak get into market,” said Funge.
The investment in BlackCloak brings a company with a distinct area of cybersecurity focus to DataTribe’s portfolio: seeing the home as an attack surface not just for an individual, but also an enterprise. It’s also among the areas that is rising to the fore as a need in a time when remote work is more common. Funge said the foundry’s team has met others looking to solve this problem, but was “very excited” by the approach the team has taken, as well as the team and focus on providing a great experience for customers.
“I think they’ve cracked the nut on how to do this in a scalable way,” he said.-30-
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