Opening in Maryland put Prevailion close to the talent that developed around the federal government’s intelligence community. More than a year later, the company is growing a team that’s applying the methods used by nations to provide business intelligence.
The company’s local presence started with a win: It was one of the two firms that topped last year’s DataTribe Challenge. Run by Fulton-based startup studio DataTribe, the competition sought out companies nationwide and led to DataTribe investing $1.7 million in Prevailion. (A second edition will determine this year’s Challenge winners next month.)
Founding the company in 2017 in Houston, Texas, CEO Karim Hijazi brought experience building a company after founding data leak intelligence firm Unveillance, which was acquired by Mandiant in 2012, as well as software development firm Quantomic.
Prevailion developed an approach that provides intelligence to a company about whether a data compromise is affecting a third party that it works with, meaning a partner or a supply chain used by a company.
“Prevailion has successfully been able to build a platform that has been able to give customers an ability to look at the periphery,” Hijazi said.
The company isn’t aggregating other data or scanning vulnerabilities, Hijazi said, but is rather seeking evidence by looking at the infrastructure of a bad actor.
“We’re looking for active compromise of these entities over a period of time,” he said.
For business leaders, many decisions about protecting data are a question of risk, so businesses are seeking info about how what’s happening around them could affect them.
It can also be part of due diligence, Hijazi said. For instance, if a company is looking to acquire or merge with another company, Prevailion seeks evidence to help companies understand whether a compromise has happened prior to the deal.
Looking to work with financial, healthcare and defense companies, Prevailion closed on $10 million in Series A funding led by Allegis Cyber, a venture firm with offices in Maryland and Silicon Valley, as well as DataTribe, in July.
Since May, it expanded from eight to 23 employees, and the company moved from DataTribe’s space in Fulton to new space that opened this year in Columbia’s Merriweather District, the Howard Hughes Corporation development that will also be home to a group of cyber companies including Tenable. It’s looking to continue to grow in Maryland, which Hijazi said has bolstered hiring that can fit with the high-growth trajectory.
“It fostered a tremendous ability for us to get great talent very quickly,” he said.
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