Minerva Labs wins hub:raum’s cyber security competition in Berlin
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Minerva Labs getting Cybertech's competition award. Photo credit: Gabriel Avner / Geektime

Minerva Labs getting Cybertech's competition award. Photo credit: Gabriel Avner / Geektime

This fast rising preventative cyber security startup just won its second competition in a week

Following up their win at the CyberTech 2016 convention last week in Tel Aviv (photographed above), Minerva Labs has returned home to Israel with another trophy in their case, this time from hub:raum Berlin’s Cyber Boot Camp 2016 competition.

Sponsored by Deutsche Telekom, the one day event was held on February 1 and hosted by hub:raum, T-Systems’ Business Unit Cyber Security, and Deutsche Telekom Group Security Services. Organizers told Geektime that the event was attended by around 120-140 startup and security enthusiasts.

The event focused on some of the most talked about topics in the cyber security sector, including Vulnerability Management, IoT, and Endpoint Security.

The competition

For the purpose of the competition, the 12 companies that came to face off were broken down by categories. Each team was allowed to give a four-minute pitch.

Vulnerability Management
L7 Defense, Intruder, Scalock, Resecure, Cytegic

Endpoint Security
Minerva, Crypho, Mynigma, Sphere Secure Workspace

IoT Security
SCADAfence, ThingBlox, Splone

While Splone walked away with the prize for “winner of hearts” and will have another opportunity to pitch to the telecom again in Bonn, Minerva Labs emerged as the overall victor from the day, claiming the title of Most Innovative Startup.

In their comments on why they chose Minerva over the rest, the judges stated that Minerva is going in an innovative direction with their preventative approach and thought that they have a new strong technology.

Choosing the course of prevention

Representing Minerva Labs was Co-founder and CEO Eddy Bobritsky, who explained how his company’s Minerva Armor product is able to neutralize viruses before they are able to launch their harmful payloads.

Their product is based on the concept that detection methods like behavioral and signature analysis are not up to snuff when it comes to fighting more complex attacks. Additionally, they say that once a virus has been detected, the damage has already been done. Bobritsky tells Geektime that they believe in prevention and not chasing after viruses.

With this in mind, Minerva Labs has developed a solution that they claim prevents viruses to reach the stage where they become an active threat.

Bobritsky tells Geektime that nearly all attacks enter a network through evasion techniques that include not going live while in a forensic environment, thereby remaining dormant until they can execute their code undetected.

Minerva Labs was co-founded in October 2014 by Bobritsky, CTO Erez Breiman, and VP of Research Omri Moyal. They have received funding in a round that was led by Stage One Venture Capital along with a number of other private investors.

They are now planning on opening a new funding round sometime during the first half of the year.

My take

As technologies like the cloud, IoT, and Fintech have grown in leaps and bounds, attracting due attention from across the industry, the question of how to secure these infrastructures has jumped to the forefront, bringing with it a flood of innovation in cyber security.

The strong showing from Israeli companies at this show, as well as at last week’s CyberTech, has helped to boost global interest in what these companies are selling and is a trend that is unlikely to abate any time soon. The same goes for investment as companies like Israeli Cybereason pulled in an impressive $59 million last year among others who have received similar attention.

In addition to their involvement in the local German scene, Deutsche Telekom’s startup incubator helps fund and cultivate young companies in Krakow and Tel Aviv. The telecom power house was also an early driver of Ben Gurion University’s cyber security research department, the precursor to the JVP-backed CyberSpark that has helped to launch a mass of successful companies.

Minerva Labs has brought together a very talented team that is driven to alter the course of the cyber security industry. While their product should not be considered an independent service, ideally being paired with other existing solutions, it serves as force multipliers for enterprises looking to strengthen their cyber security solutions tool kit.

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Gabriel Avner

About Gabriel Avner

Gabriel has an unhealthy obsession with new messaging apps, social media and pretty much anything coming out of Apple. An experienced security and conflict consultant, he has written for The Diplomatic Club, the Marine War College, and covers military affairs with TLV1 radio. He mostly enjoys reading articles wherever his ADD leads him to and training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. EEED 44D4 B8F4 24BE F77E 2DEA 0243 CBD1 3F7C F4B6

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