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Skycure Raises $16.5 Million To Invest In Further Development Of Its Award Winning Mobile Threat Defense Platform

Skycure develops enterprise mobile threat defense solutions to prevent attacks at the device, app and network level for both BYO and corporate-owned devices. Skycure has recently raised $16.5 million series B funding round in order to expand the company’s presence in EMEA and APAC and broaden its foothold with Global 1000 customers. Below is our interview with Varun Kohli, Vice President of Marketing at Skycure:


Q: How did Skycure start? Could you tell us your story?

A: Skycure started in 2012 by the two Israel Defense Force, 8200 Intelligence Unit veterans, Adi Sharabani and Yair Amit. They both have more than 30 patents in the field of application security. After the acquisition of their last company by IBM, they clearly saw a gap in the security industry which was not being addressed by traditional security solutions. The gap was to secure mobile devices a.k.a the best surveillance device ever created in the history of mankind without changing user experience or impacting their privacy. This is why Skycure was born.

Q: Give us more insights into your solution, what is Skycure and how does it work?

A: Skycure offers the most complete, accurate and effective mobile threat defense solution, delivering unparalleled depth of threat intelligence to predict, detect and protect against the broadest range of existing and unknown threats. Skycure’s predictive technology uses a layered approach that leverages massive crowd-sourced threat intelligence, in addition to both device- and server-based analysis, to proactively protect mobile devices from malware, network threats, and vulnerability exploits.

Malware detection techniques include static and dynamic analysis, crowd-based anomaly detection, as well as analysis based on signatures, app behavior, structure, permissions and more. Protection against network threats includes an automated VPN response that protects the device while maintaining network connectivity during an attack, and a unique Selective Resource Protection (SRP) feature that blocks access to specific valuable resources (mail servers, file shares and other business systems) during a network attack, while continuing to allow non-critical connections. Skycure provides a complete risk assessment of an organization and each device, and integrates with all major EMMs.

Skycure’s founders, Adi Sharabani and Yair Amit, have identified some of the most-discussed mobile device vulnerabilities of the past few years including LinkedOut, WiFiGate,Invisible Malicious Profile, Malicious iOS Profiles, HTTP Request Hijacking, No iOS Zone, Shared Cookie Stores,Accessibility Clickjacking.

The company has offices in Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv and Ottawa, Canada, and is funded by Foundation Capital, Shasta Ventures, Pitango Venture Capital, NYL and other strategic investors, including Lane Bess (ex-CEO of Palo Alto Networks).

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Q: What are the biggest mobile security threats today and how can we keep our device and data safe?

A: Hackers are finding new ways to steal data and infiltrate corporate networks daily, with mobile devices rapidly becoming the easiest way for hackers to attack. A number of trends are driving the need for mobile threat defense, including the ubiquity of mobile devices, BYOD, and the rise of cyber theft, cyber espionage, cyber fraud, and cyber warfare.

According to eMarketer, smartphone usage will surpass 2 billion-users in 2016. By the end of this year, more than one-quarter of the world population will have a smartphone. The workforce is mobile, making businesses flexible and more productive. Smartphones and tablets are rapidly replacing laptops for many executives. But with more mobile devices in the workplace, businesses have become more vulnerable to cyber attack. Whether workers use their own or company-provided devices, if they connect to a corporate network or service, the business is at risk.

Mobile devices are becoming the weakest link in the security of an organization and can be compromised at the application, network, and device level:

Application: Apps are the lifeblood of every mobile device, and a key area of vulnerability. Malware can be delivered through unapproved, third-party app stores, personal computers or wirelessly via cellular, WiFi or Bluetooth.

Network: On the network side, smartphones and tablets connect to hundreds more networks than laptops, exponentially increasing the threat of access being granted to external devices on the corporate network.

Device: Mobile devices are traditionally not secured to the same degree as laptops and desktops. They are also much more likely to be lost or stolen than traditional computers. According to Consumer Reports, in 2013 more than 3 million smart phones were stolen in the US alone.

Finally, mobile security is highly dependent on user behavior. Users have become dependent on the immediacy of their mobile devices, with little patience for anything that slows down access to their favorite apps. Very few devices have proper security installed because users are hesitant to compromise their privacy, use of apps or battery life, and current solutions are simply inadequate in protecting against current threats. In order to keep users and the organizations secure, the industry needs a solution that provides comprehensive defense nearly invisible to the end user.

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Recommendations on how to keep your device and data safe:

My first recommendation is to install a free version of Skycure. But more generally, I have 3 specific suggestions:

1. Always download new apps from the primary app stores – that’s either the Google Play store or Apple’s App Store. We reported in our latest Mobile Threat Intelligence Report that third party app stores can be up to 72 times more likely to have malware.

2. Never join free public Wi-Fi networks if you can avoid it. Our recent Threat Report on Most Risky Tourist Destinations for Mobile Devices found that 8% of all the malicious WiFi networks had the word “Free” in them. If you must use free Wi-Fi, avoid doing business while connected.

3. Always update to the latest version of your mobile operating system as soon as possible. Every new OS version contains multiple patches to security holes in the previous versions. Hackers take advantage of the fact that people do not do this, leaving many users vulnerable to well-known vulnerabilities.

Q: You’ve recently announced a $16.5 million series B funding round; what’s your next step?

A: Skycure will use the funds to expand the company’s presence in EMEA and APAC, broaden its foothold with Global 1000 customers, and invest in further developing the company’s award winning mobile threat defense platform.

Next steps? Making sure mobile is no longer the weakest link in enterprise security and that this most valuable device is no longer the most vulnerable one.

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Q: How does the future look like for Skycure?

A: Bright and shiny. There is a reason why we did not include mobile in the name of our company. It is called Skycure and not Mobilecure for a reason. We believe everything will be mobile in a couple of years from now. The word mobile itself will become redundant with the influx of autonomous cars, smart homes, smart offices, connected pets and “Internet of Humans” – IOH. We also believe that all these new connected devices will be based on the new-age OS which looks more similar to iOS and Android than Windows, Mac and Linux. We have the early movers advantage to securing everything that is running iOS or Android today which positions us strongly to go secure the devices of the future.

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