Amidst the hullabaloo around hacks and endless data breaches, the global cybersecurity market is expected to grow from $152 billion in 2018 to $250 billion by 2023. Companies offering everything from risk-monitoring and SIEM to automated endpoint security are raking in bucketloads of investors’ cash and securing big-name clients from across all sectors.

Nestled within the cybersecurity industry are what is known as “managed security services (MSS),” which refers to companies outsourcing their security to a third-party provider — and this is thought to be a $20 billion market in itself. MSS providers essentially take care of their customers’ day-to-day threat monitoring, checking for unusual behavior, hacks, attacks, and any kind of anomaly. And Hendon, Virginia-based startup Expel is setting out to grab its piece of this billion-dollar cybersecurity pie.

Expel today announced it has raised $40 million in a series C round of funding led by Index Ventures, with participation from Greycroft, Battery Ventures, NEA, Paladin Capital Group, and Scale Venture Partners. This follows the startup’s $20 million series B raise last year and takes its total funding to date to nearly $70 million.

How it works

Companies choose their preferred cybersecurity tools and platforms — be that Splunk, Darktrace, Crowdstrike, or countless others — and Expel makes these tools “work harder” by integrating them and providing round-the-clock monitoring through what it calls a “security operations center-as-a-service.”

Expel is all about making the information gleaned from established tools easier to parse and take action on, serving up advice in plain English rather than simply coughing out streams of alerts for every possible threat.

Above: Expel activity dashboard

There are, of course, a number of MSS providers out there already, including big-name incumbents such as Symantec, IBM, and Verizon, but Expel is touting a number of advantages for its own platform.

For example, the Expel platform will show the stage an investigation is at rather than waiting for it to finish, and it will filter out false positives to only surface confirmed problems.

Above: Critical security incident

It also tells the user exactly what they need to do and why, and it gives recommendations based on the current environment and past trends.

Above: Expel: Recommendations

With another $40 million in the bank, the company said it will now double down on its cloud monitoring capabilities, develop new products, and invest further in sales and marketing.

At its core, Expel helps companies that may not have sufficient cybersecurity resources to effectively manage and prioritize every alert that comes in — and with an anticipated cybersecurity workforce shortfall, services such as this could be in even greater demand.

“There are some fundamental beliefs we have here at Expel, and one of those is that people are really good at two things: using judgement and building relationships,” said Expel CEO and cofounder David Merkel. “Having a security operations center full of people chasing loads of alerts isn’t the way to ‘do security’ in the 21st century. Expel’s technology-first approach allows CISOs and their teams to stop playing a game of alert whack-a-mole, and focus on managing the risks unique to their business.”

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