Israeli startup CyBellum wants to end zero-day attacks

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There are two types of cyber attacks: simple attacks, which are usually stopped by standard defense tools (anti-virus), and more sophisticated ones that include what are called zero-day attacks, which bypass every existing security mechanism. CyBellum’s solution is designed to stop zero-day attacks, because it is able to detect the moment of the break-in and block the attack in the earliest stage, long before the attacker penetrates the system.

A short pitch: What does the company do?

A: CyBellum has developed technology to halt zero-day attacks at their earliest and most critical stage.

A slightly more thorough explanation

A: In order to conduct a zero-day attack, the attacker has to find a new security breach known only to himself. While security breaches are diverse and likely to be found anywhere in the system, exploiting the breach always develops in the same way, known as memory corruption. Although exploiting the breach always takes place in the same way known in advance, no technology for detecting this action currently exists. The existing solutions therefore attempt to stop the attack after the breach has been exploited and the attacker has already penetrated into the system. This is frequently too late, because the damage has already been done.

Cybellum, on the other hand, is able to completely stop new attacks that have never been seen before, something that is considered almost impossible. The company’s platform is designed to defend against zero-day attacks, and protects organizations against zero-day attacks on both their internal network and the cloud, thereby providing a complete end-to-end solution.

Team Cybellum Photo Credit: PR
Team Cybellum Photo Credit: PR

Q: What stage have you reached?

A: The product is still in the beta stages and is designed for enterprises. We are now working with a number of customers in Israel and overseas.

Q: How did you get the idea?

A: After being demobilized from our military service, it was natural for us as experts in zero-day attacks to try to solve the problem we knew so well from the attacker’s side. We shut ourselves up at home for four months, trying many different angles from morning till night, but they all failed. We didn’t give up, and finally, after almost 10 different angles had failed, we achieved the technological breakthrough with which we founded the company.

Q: Who are your competitors?

A: Our competitors include cyber companies defending against zero-day attacks, including Check Point, Palo Alto Networks, FireEye, Forcepoint, and Proofpoint. The main difference between them and us is that we can detect and stop a zero-day attack at the moment of the attempted break-in. That prevents the attack from doing any damage to the organization. The existing products are blind to the moment of the break-in, and are unaware of when the attacker penetrated into the organization. As a result, the attacker usually succeeds in causing substantial damage before the product manages to detect that something is amiss and stops the attack. The other companies know about the break-in stages and are aware that it is much better to stop the attack from the very beginning, but they lack the existing technology for detecting the moment of the break-in.

Q: How do you plan to make money?

A: We sell a defense platform for enterprises against zero-day attacks. Our business model includes one-time sales and an annual subscription with maintenance and support.

Q: Have you already received investments? How many? Who invested?

A: We prefer not to disclose the status of our financing right now.

Q: Who are the company founders?

A: Michael Engstler and Slava Bronfman founded the company in 2015.

Q: How many employees do you have? Where are your offices?

A: The company currently has 10 employees, and is located in Tel Aviv.

CyBellum is taking part in the Startup Arena, Geektime’s startup competition taking place for the ninth consecutive year in the framework of the Geektime Conference. Past participants include companies such as Kaltura, Cyactive, and SalesPredict, among others. The 2016 Startup Arena competition this year is sponsored by Altshuler Shaham Benefits.

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