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The soaring number of cyberattacks in recent years has propelled a massive expansion of potential solutions as startups and incumbent security providers jostle to address the market opportunity. But Tel Aviv-based CYE believes it has developed a way to cut through that clutter with a solution that uses artificial intelligence to probe for technical weaknesses and human hackers to test a company’s overall security resilience.

This approach allows the company to complement simulated attacks by virtual avatars with its ethical hackers’ efforts to provide a more thorough risk assessment.

CYE (pronounced “sigh”) today announced it has raised $120 million in a round led by EQT, with participation from 83North.

“CYE is a combination of very strong top hackers [on] one side and very strong technology based on artificial intelligence that learns from those guys and mimics them via avatars and robots,” CYE CTO and cofounder Ronen Lago said. “We enable coverage that can scale with robots with the understanding of the human being.”

The startup is part of the dynamic Israeli cybersecurity ecosystem.

The company’s flagship product is called Hyver. This AI-driven platform provides a comprehensive security analysis of potential vulnerabilities that may include internal IT systems and products from other security vendors. This cybersecurity reconnaissance also includes scanning the dark and deep webs for things like executive emails, leaked passwords, or any other propriety information that may have already leaked.

Using that intelligence, the company’s hackers, or “red teams,” launch additional non-simulated attacks to probe the company’s weaknesses. This method also allows CYE to measure the effectiveness of a company’s security policies and the responsiveness of its teams.

“We take cybersecurity from the classic reactive method and perimeter protection into a more proactive mindset by actually attacking the organization,” Lago said.

CTE

Above: From left to right: Eyal Greenberg (cofounder and head of research), Reuven Aronashvili (founder and CEO), Gabi Levenberg (cofounder and services team leader), Matan Chen (cofounder and services team leader), Haim Aharoni (cofounder and CPO). Not pictured: Ronen Lago, CTO and cofounder.

When the company first launched, about 80% of the attacks were staged by humans and 20% by avatars. But as the company’s AI has improved, the ratio is now 80% avatars and 20% humans, Lago said.

The company says it has customers among Fortune 500 companies and plans to use the funding for product development and sales and marketing. It has about 80 employees.

“We have no sales and marketing teams,” Lago said. “Most of our customers came from personnel referral and things like that, which is great. With the new funding and the expertise of the investors, we want to take a company with nice revenues and strong customers to be a machine that scales with a global footprint.”

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