Protecting Critical Infrastructure From Cyber Attacks

Protecting Critical Infrastructure From Cyber Attacks

Critical infrastructure refers to the kinds of physical (and virtual) assets such that “the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters.” These include electric utilities, oil & gas facilities, water supply systems, industrial production, etc. Critical infrastructure assets usually have strict physical perimeter security and access control, but are increasingly vulnerable to debilitating cyber attacks.

On Dec 2015, a Ukraine-based energy provider was attacked leading to first case of an industrial cyber attack that caused a blackout for residents of a country. Since then more large scale ICS attacks have been recorded, such as the Industroyer in 2016, and Triton in 2017. In May 2017, a Presidential Executive order was also issued in the US for “Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure”.

In Oct 2016 Lux Capital co-led the Series A investment in Nozomi Networks, to fight such cyber attacks against critical infrastructure, and to provide operational visibility and industrial cyber security at a global level. I am excited to share news today that Nozomi Networks has closed a $15M Series B led by our friends at Invenergy Future Fund, with participation from all insiders, and new investor THI Investments.

As a Board member I have been able to observe Nozomi’s rapid growth closely. The company has been on a tear, beating all targets for 2017 revenue and customer growth, while innovating fast to stay far ahead of their competitors. Nozomi now delivers a full suite of ICS solutions to its customers: real-time ICS monitoring, behavioral anomaly and signature based threat detection, network visualization, asset inventory and vulnerability assessment.

Nozomi’s customer base includes Fortune 100 utilities, oil & gas companies, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and manufacturing industries, with production deployments at 200+ customers across 5 continents. Company already provides ICS support and integration with ABB, Honeywell, Schneider Electric, Rockwell, GE, IBM, Mitsubishi, and many others. In addition, the company signed an incredibly strong and strategic partnership agreement in 2017 with FireEye, and extended its relationship with Fortinet and others. Several more key partnerships are expected to be announced in coming months.

The company grew its revenues more than 5x last year, and has entered 2018 with a pipeline that requires them to hire fast globally to execute. Hence the fundraise to proverbially ‘pour fuel on the fire’ :) Company is expanding its lab/testing capabilities, and hiring sales, marketing, engineering, and security R&D professionals in multiple geographies. If you want to be challenged professionally and technically, while building a truly global company, you will want to meet this team. Thank you Edgard, Andrea, Moreno, and everyone else at Nozomi for your hard work in 2017. It’s been an honor and tremendous fun to be a part of your team so far. I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity ahead of us to build a trusted brand in protecting critical infrastructure globally!

written by
Bilal Zuberi
General Partner

For nearly two decades, Bilal has been investing in founders that want to solve big, important problems with technically ambitious solutions, across industries (enterprise software, deeptech, healthcare, national security, climate) and stages (from seed to growth). He wants to partner with good human beings who are driven to build responsible, ethical companies, and believes technology can not only help address some of the world’s largest problems, but also make humans lives significantly better. Bilal brings 20 years of experience to Board roles. 

Bilal led Lux’s investments in Applied Intuition, Ironclad, OpenSpace, Nozomi Networks, Commure, Tendo Health, DesktopMetal ($DM), Evolv ($EVLV), Aurora Solar, Kyra Health, Saildrone, Cloaked, Happiest Baby, Zededa, Fiddler, Copia Automation, Kinetic, Nominal, and others. 

You don’t choose your passions, your passions choose you. –Jeff Bezos

Prior to joining Lux, Bilal was a VC at General Catalyst. Before that he was a technical founder/entrepreneur. Earlier in his career, Bilal was a strategy consultant at BCG. Bilal earned a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (under Prof. Mario Molina, Nobel laureate, 1995). He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Lemelson Foundation. He is an immigrant citizen in this country, and thankful every day for opportunities that he has been afforded here.

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Protecting Critical Infrastructure From Cyber Attacks

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