Last year, UK cybersecurity startup CybSafe, a “behavioral security” platform, raised a $7.9 million in a Series A. This SaaS product with a per-user-based, subscription licensing model has a “behavior-led” platform that manages people-related security. In other words, it uses behavioral science and data analytics to help employees be more cybersecurity aware.
Users get microlearning content and personalized ‘nudges’ in nine different languages, delivered via a mobile application or browser.
The company claims that this approach means that organizations can then ‘peer into’ their workforce’s security behavior, culture, and risk reporting to pre-empt security problems and track improvements over time. CybSafe claims this approach is 40-60% more effective at influencing certain security behaviors and more helpful for users than the traditional approach to security awareness.
It’s now raised a $28 million Series B round led by Evolution Equity Partners with participation from Emerald Development Managers and existing investors IQ Capital and Hannover Digital Investments (HDI) GmbH. CybSafe clients include Credit Suisse, Barclays Bank, HSBC, FNZ Group and Moody’s. It also has a strategic partnership with telecoms giant, Vodafone.
CybSafe’s competitors include KnowBe4 (raised $393.5M), SoSafe (raised $73M), Proofpoint, Wombat Security (raised $10.9M) and Infosec.
Launched in 2017, the company was founded by cyber resilience and intelligence expert, Oz Alashe MBE (above), a former lieutenant colonel in the British army, who was also the first Black officer to serve in the parachute regiment and U.K. special forces. Needless to say, he’s also a – rare – black tech founder in a generally non-diverse UK and European tech scene.
Alashe launched CybSafe after realizing that “most of the security industry’s attempts to address this challenge centered on ‘tick box’ training or an over-reliance on phishing simulations. Very little of it is grounded in any clear scientific evidence, or backed up by any solid data,” he said.
“We’re building software that will get increasingly effective through the delivery of behavior change micro-experiments. In doing so, we remove the guesswork from security awareness,” he added.
Karthik Subramanian, Partner at Evolution Equity Partners, said: “We invest in founders with disruptive cybersecurity offerings that are reimagining how businesses approach the increasing depth and breadth of cyber threats. CybSafe designs their products with the user in mind, ensuring they are tackling the cause rather than simply treating the symptoms of cyber risk. CybSafe goes far beyond traditional compliance-driven approaches to security awareness, and instead focuses on delivering a genuine reduction in human cyber risk.”
According to the Forrester Wave Report, CybSafe has “pioneered a new approach to SA&T (security awareness and training) that uses data and metrics to change behavior and instill a security culture”.