After the 2021 incident with Colonial Pipeline, researchers Jon Miller and Ryan Smith questioned why, despite the widespread use of security measures, ransomware continued to expand at an exponential rate.
A recent poll found that 78 percent of businesses want to raise spending on cybersecurity in the next year. However, ransomware losses are anticipated to surpass $30 billion globally in 2023.
Miller and Smith, who had previously worked at Blackberry- and Optiv-acquired firms and at cyber defense contractor Boldend, respectively, were dissatisfied with the state of the industry and decided to launch their own cybersecurity company, Halcyon. It may help prevent harm from ransomware and allow businesses to recover more quickly.
It is getting through to venture capitalists.
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Investors Are Interested In Cybersecurity
SYN Ventures and Corner Ventures led Halcyon’s Series A fundraising round, which received $44 million (plus $6 million in debt). Dell Technologies Capital also took part in the round. Miller has said that the newly acquired funds and the loan would boost the company’s engineering and research and development divisions and its continuing sales and marketing efforts.
Miller, who also acts as CEO, said that the company sees its offering as distinctive since it has no direct rivals and aims to enhance the security solutions already in use by its clients. “We assume that each security level, even our own, would sometimes fail. Because of this, we have put a premium on making a durable product.
However, there is an abundance of cybersecurity vendors despite a steady decline in financing and dealmaking over the last several quarters, as reported. The credit freeze is a potential game-changer.
However, Miller takes his time explaining why Halcyon is superior to the competition.
How Halcyon Is Different From The Competition
The platform uses AI to identify “malicious intent,” which it has learned to do using data from millions of ransomware attacks. Miller argues that this is preferable to certain cybersecurity solutions’ rule-based, static detection approaches.
“To build detection engine models, security companies will ingest millions of samples, indicators, and artefacts from various sources,” he said. To prevent our models from being contaminated with information irrelevant to ransomware campaigns or defective samples, such as those routinely retrieved from public malware archives, we have begun by focusing on a much narrower data set.
Halcyon works to identify and prevent known malicious executables like commercially available ransomware while forwarding unknown but suspicious executables to further “protection layers” for investigation. In addition, the platform uses deception tactics to “trick” ransomware into canceling or disclosing an assault by abusing capabilities built into the ransomware itself.
Another feature that sets Halcyon apart is a “resiliency layer” that takes effect if the platform’s detection and prevention layers are compromised. Miller explains that the resilience layer records the attack’s unique encryption key, providing IT and security professionals with a means to decrypt the compromised endpoints instantly.
During a ransomware attack, hackers encrypt the data on computers and other network nodes and hold them hostage until a ransom is paid. The strategy that Halcyon proposes to use to counter this seems ingenious. Of course, that’s supposing everything works as well, as Miller claims.
Halcyon’s Market Fit
Miller refused to disclose Halcyon’s income when pushed, and when asked why the firm borrowed debt, all he could say was that it was for “flexibility” in the short term. Market research suggests, however, that interest in Halcyon’s offering is only growing, which bodes well for the company’s bottom line.
According to research, 75% of businesses would be destroyed by ransomware. According to another survey, 47% of businesses have fallen victim to ransomware.
Is there any degree of scaremongering in those data, given that they come from vendors? Perhaps. Fear, however, is a powerful sales tool.
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Feature Image Source: Photo by Halcyon