Area 1 Raises $8M to Defend Against Social Engineering Attacks
A former NSA analyst pairs big data technology with new money to build out a security platform that is still in stealth.Security startup Area 1 Security today announced that it has raised $8 million in a Series A funding round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In total, Area 1 has now raised $10.5 million in funding as the company aims to build out a new type of technology to help organizations defend themselves against social engineering attacks. "We look at all attacks as campaigns, and social engineering is typically the first phase or the first area for attack," Area 1 Security's CEO Oren Falkowitz told eWEEK. "We are focused on that first area of attack, getting good visibility and helping to prevent attack escalation." Falkowitz is no stranger to the world of security, previously having spent six years working at the National Security Agency (NSA), working in part in the office of Tailored Access Operations (TAO). While at the NSA, Falkowitz helped develop the open-source Accumulo database, which is a data storage technology for Hadoop big data. "Accumulo embeds security access controls, so petabytes of data can be stored in a system that has thousands of users, all of whom can only see the level of data that they are authorized against," he said. "This is helpful for highly regulated industries like health care, finance and, of course, national defense."
The technology platform that Area 1 Security is building is still in stealth, though Falkowitz was able to provide context into where it fits and what problem it is trying to solve. There are security companies that are trying to help train IT users about the dangers of social engineering, but that's not what his company is aiming to do, he said. In a social engineering attack, a user is somehow tricked or manipulated into clicking on something malicious, which can end up exploiting a system.