Cool Startup: ThetaRay


What is Stuxnet? According to Security Guru Mikko Hypponen, it is a historical game changer in the history of malware. Stuxnet is to malware, what Apple mobile was to Blackberry.  Before it was discovered around 2010, many security experts had no clue such a malware of this magnitude could be developed. Stuxnet exploited four zero day vulnerabilities. Exploiting one was difficult, two was rare, exploiting four zero days, here is what Mikko said, who also happens to be a Chief Security Researcher who spent 20 years battling viruses; Stuxnet is  “Mind Boggling”.

The good news, security products today detect, and eliminate Stuxnet. The bad news, organized cyber crime syndicates, and nation states have 4 years of experience creating Stuxnet malware variants. That is where ThetaRay comes in.  ThetaRay is a security company based in Jerusalem that was started by two university professors. They have raised an undisclosed amount from GE and VC’s. ThetaRay has developed a cutting edge security platform using advanced algorithms, and big data analytics to detect extremely sophisticated Stuxnet like malware, targeted at the industrial systems that use PLC’s (programmable logic controllers).

PLC’s are responsible for operating critical infrastructure, from factories, to electrical power grids. Here is a short list: nuclear facilities, elevators, electrical grids, oil facilities, ships, Wall Street, cars, manufacturing plants, planes, satellites, military defense systems, and so on. ThetaRay is the emerging leader in this space, with plans to introduce a product in the fall. ThetaRay offers an appliance, or cloud based solution for the industrial, financial and telecommunications sectors.

  Company Background
  • Started: 2013
  • Raised: Undisclosed
  • Linkedin Employee Count: 11
  • Backers: General Electric
  • Executives: Amir Averbach (Co-founder), Ronald Coifman (Co-founder) and Mark Gazit (CEO)
  • Product: Security appliance or cloud based solution (private or public)
  • Services: network monitoring and malware detection
  • Target Customer: Large enterprises, government agencies and industrial companies
  • Security appliance or cloud based product (private or public)
  • Monitors the networks and systems powering critical infrastructure, power production facilities and SCADA systems
  • Core functionality: Network security monitoring and malware detection
  • Advanced analytics platform that detects anomalies, like irregular patterns of data packets traveling through the network
  • Product is based on Hyper-dimensional Big Data Analytics, a security platform incorporating advanced algorithms and analytics

It’s a no-brainer, ThetaRay has the first mover advantage in this niche. If they play their cards rights, they are going to blow up, and possibly hit $1B in valuation in a few years. They have a solution that solves a very big problem. For now, they have separated themselves from the competition. The barriers to entry for this market are high, but sooner or later, the competition will arrive. ThetaRay has all the momentum right now to disrupt the industry, and be a game changer, just like Stuxnet was in its time. Whatever they do, ThetaRay shouldn’t sell out to anyone, even GE, in the first 4 years. Just think, how much money has been invested in the industrial systems niche? It’s probably a few trillion dollars. Cool Startup: ThetaRay

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