Battling cyber criminals is becoming an increasingly hot topic in the international startup society. StartupJuncture therefore dived ‘under the radar’ with the entrepreneurs of EclecticIQ, an Amsterdam-based startup which today launched a new software technology that provides cyber threat analysts with a platform to utilize and exchange cyber intelligence.
This month alone, two young American cyber security software companies secured some serious money. ThreatQuotient from Northern Virginia, announced $10.2 million in a series A funding round and ThreatConnect from the same area closed a series B funding round at more than $16 million.
The business of EclecticIQ was therefore something team member Martin Voorzanger, founder of carpool startup Toogethr, (bought by Calendar42 in the beginning of this year) believed in immediately. “We are the only European actor”, he says. “We are opening up a second office in London and aim to expand further in Europe.”
The entrepreneur was ready for a new (ad)venture. “Toogethr did not turn out the way I’d hoped for, because it’s value proposition was too small in my view”, says Voorzanger about his former project. “Therefore I would not get involved in a new startup, unless I felt it to be founded by a very good idea.”
The romantic days of the lone hacker to discover system vulnerabilities are long gone. Organized crime syndicates and not-so-friendly regimes are attacking essential infrastructures 24 hours a day.
EclecticIQ was founded in 2014 by Joep Gommers and Raymon van der Velde. After a year of development in cooperation with financial organizations, as part of NATO’s Cyber Security Incubator, the so-called Threat Intelligence Platform is now market-ready.
Voorzanger joined the team recently to lead the marketing activities of the company. “Cyber security is getting higher on the agenda of most companies”, he says. “20 percent sees online criminals as a serious threat, according to KPMG’s Global CEO Outlook 2015.”
Clients of EclecticIQ include governmental bodies and undisclosed “big banks”. Threat analysts within those firms use the platform to import relevant data on possible security threats. “Our software is not yet available in the cloud, because most clients want to use it within the safety-zone of their own firewalls.”
EclecticIQ makes cyber security data available in standard formats for analyst to work with, and enrich with information specifically relevant for them. The cyber security data is collected from multiple parties that sell the intelligence, such as Intel471 as well as open source and community feeds.
Users of the startup’s software may also share information among peers. “We hand them a tool that they can work with easily”, says Voorzanger. “As well as information that intelligence companies ask hundreds of thousands of euros for.”
EclecticIQ’s fees are custom, based on the client’s demand. The company however doesn’t disclose information on the exact fees, but promises lower ones.
With that software, companies have to become more proactive when it comes to monitoring their IT infrastructure. “So far, they have been using a reactive approach to fight attacks as they happen”, says Voorzanger. “Understanding the threat landscape is however key to knowing what is likely to happen.”
‘Prevention is half of the work’, in terms of a known Dutch saying. In 2014, nearly 43 million security incidents have been reported by PWC, a growth of 48 percent as compared to 2013.
“The romantic days of the lone hacker to discover system vulnerabilities are long gone. Organized crime syndicates and not-so-friendly regimes are attacking essential infrastructures 24 hours a day”, is the looming message.
That is also why a new law is introduced in January 2016, including fines when not acted upon. All organisations are obliged to report data leaks before the College bescherming persoonsgegevens (CBP) under the Meldplicht Datalekken-rule. (Link in Dutch).
Perhaps no wonder EclecticIQ – just like its American colleagues – has been securing funding from “the very beginning” and grown to a team of 25. And looking for more: “We are currently negotiating a series A round of funding”, says Voorzanger.
“Modern society is more and more data oriented”, says Voorzanger. “EclecticIQ can profit from that, as long as we are able to standardize our product and services to keep up with our envisaged growth.”