Tag: Cyber Security

San Antonio-based Infocyte Lands $500,000 in Funding

Reporter with Silicon Hills News

IMG_4254Infocyte Inc. just landed $500,000 in seed stage funding led by Austin-based LiveOak Venture Partners.

The San Antonio-based startup plans to use the funds to further develops Pulse, its cyber security assessment platform.

This is LiveOak’s first investment in San Antonio.

“The Infocyte team has a storied history and deep domain knowledge gained from their time in national defense,” Venu Shamapant, LiveOak’s general partner said in a news release. “We are excited to partner with them in their ambitions to bring advanced threat detection to a wider audience.”

Infocyte plans to release its product, which is currently in beta testing, to the public early next year, said Chris Gerritz, CEO and co-founder of Infocyte.

Gerritz and Ryan Morris, co-founder, both formerly worked as officers in the U.S. Air Force on Security Hill at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio in cyber security roles.

Infocyte created Pulse, a software and hardware device installed on a company’s computer network to monitors and scan for any irregularities such as malicious code or unauthorized activity. The product detects and identifies attackers and audits a network pro-actively before an attack takes place, Gerritz said.

“What we offer is a proactive security assessment that asks a question that no other security assessment does and that is are you comprised right now?” Gerritz said.

A lot of times, intruders can remain on a network, undetected, for months or years, Gerritz said. Infocyte’s software seeks to find them and deal with them before they cause major problems, he said.

“The majority of security assessments right now look for holes in a network that could be exploited by hackers,” Gerritz. “Our assessment answers has anyone actually used those holes to comprise your network. Are they in your network right now? Do you know about them?”

Generally, Infocyte’s customers are companies that don’t know that they are comprised yet, but they want to know if they are, Gerritz said.

The malware remains hidden on a network so the intruders can gather intelligence over time like credit card numbers, Morris said. The companies generally don’t know they’ve got a problem until the FBI tells them, he said.

Gerritz and Morris founded the company in May of 2013. They received $200,000 in initial funding from an unnamed angel investor. The company is based at Geekdom in downtown San Antonio and now has three employees, Gerritz said. Infocyte has hired some contractors and wants to hire two more people, he said.

Since August, Infocyte has been working by providing professional assessment services to detect vulnerabilities with local banks and credit unions. When it releases its software and hardware product in February, Infocyte plans to target Fortune 1000 companies, initially in the financial services and retail industries.

Gerritz and Morris just returned from Dublin, Ireland and the Web Summit, where they pitched Infocyte to an international audience.

Join a Special 3 Day Startup Focused on Cyber Security in San Antonio

unnamed-1Did you know San Antonio has the second largest concentration of cyber security professionals outside of the Washington, D.C. area?

The bulk of them are at the National Security Agency’s (also nicknamed as No Such Agency) Texas Cryptology Center. The NSA leased and renovated the old Sony chip manufacturing plant in 2005 and was expected to hire as many as 1,500 workers. The NSA’s facility has two buildings for a total of 475,000 square feet, including a data center.

Even before the NSA, San Antonio had deep roots in the cyber security field with the U.S. Air Force Intelligence Agency at Lackland, nicknamed Security Hill and the University of Texas at San Antonio recognized by the NSA as a center for academic excellence in information assurance education.

So it just made sense for the first Cyber Security 3 Day Startup to take place in San Antonio. 3DS selects 45 people to participate in the weekend long program in which the group breaks up into teams and form startups, create a prototype and then pitch their companies. The 80/20 Foundation is sponsoring the Cyber Security 3 Day Startup.

The Cyber Security 3 Day Startup is now recruiting “passionate individuals with an entrepreneurial drive, including Computer Science (PhD, MS, undergraduate) MBAs, law students, graphic designers, PR, business undergraduates, etc” to participate in its program to be held May 23rd through May 25th at the old Geekdom on the 11th floor of the Weston Centre.

To apply for the program, please visit Cyber Security 3 Day Startup.

Ixia Buys Austin-based BreakingPoint Systems

Ixia, a provider of IP and wireless network test systems, announced today its acquisition of Austin-based BreakingPoint Systems, a security testing firm, for $160 million in cash.
The deal is expected to close by the end of September pending regulatory approvals.
BreakingPoint’s security products allow Ixia to offer its customers a strong defense against Cyber attacks.
“The current threat landscape is changing everything from the way we conduct business, to how we protect data and secure infrastructures, to the way we train cyber warriors,” Vic Alston, Ixia’s president and CEO said in a news statement. “This dynamic IT landscape is creating a growing demand for solutions that provide definitive and current insight into the resiliency of critical IT infrastructures and defenses. The use of disparate testing tools, threat intelligence, and monitoring products allows dangerous security vulnerabilities that erode the security posture of businesses and government agencies.”
BreakingPoint had revenue of $33.5 million in 2011, up 40 percent from a year earlier.
“As a leader in cyber security research, BreakingPoint has built a library of more than 34,000 attacks, exploits, malware, and more,” Dennis Cox, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of BreakingPoint. said in a news statement. “Joining forces with Ixia creates a powerful platform in security and application testing — one with an extensive global sales reach into enterprises, service providers, and government agencies.”

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