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Today, Nashville, Tennessee-based internet of things (IoT) security startup, Phosphorus Cybersecurity, announced it had closed a $38 million series A funding round led by SYN Ventures and MassMutual Ventures. The organization intends to use the funding to enhance its Security of Things solution set, acquire new engineering talent, and enhance the user experience.
Phosphorus Cybersecurity’s flagship solution, Phosphorous Enterprise, provides users with a complete inventory of IoT devices throughout their environment, displaying the IP address, manufacture, model, and firmware so they have more transparency over the security posture of IoT devices.
For enterprises and decision makers, Phosphorous Cybersecurity’s solution helps support against the growing threat of IoT-driven cybersecurity attacks.
The brave new world of IoT attacks
The announcement comes as the number of IoT devices present in enterprise environments has skyrocketed, with the number of connected IoT devices totalling 11.3 billion in 2020 and anticipated to reach 27 billion by 2025.
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It also comes as cyber criminals begin to see IoT devices as one of the key entry points to enterprise networks, with IoT attacks increasing from 639 million in 2020 to 1.5 billion in 2021.
As the overall number of IoT devices in use increases and they become a bigger target for hackers, enterprises need to be prepared to address new security vulnerabilities at the edge of the network that traditional security solutions are ill-prepared to address.
“In most corporate networks today, there is an abundance of these IOT devices, and yet few companies even know how many or which ones they have and how at-risk they are,” said Chris Rouland, Founder and CEo of Phosphorous Cybersecurity in an exclusive interview.
“We’ve seen several instances recently where corporate networks were hit with ransomware after the hackers first slipped in through unguarded IoT devices, such as camera systems and door controllers,” he said.
Part of the reason for this uptick in IoT attacks, is that attackers are looking for new ways to sidestep improving enterprise security measures. “As corporate security has improved recently, it has had the unintended consequence of forcing hackers to search for alternative ways into the network — and IoT is one of the top targets.”
Phosphorus Cybersecurity aims to confront this challenge by enabling users to discover IoT endpoints within the environment, so they can patch vulnerable devices, manage passwords, and monitor devices for signs of compromise.
Moving from IoT discovery to proactive remediation
Phosphorus Cybersecurity has established itself as one of the top prospects in the rapidly growing IoT Security market, valued at $14.9 billion in 2021 and anticipated to reach $40.3 billion by 2026 as enterprises focus more on IoT threats.
When it comes to discovering IoT devices in enterprise environments, one of Phosphorus Cybersecurity’s biggest competitors is IOT search engine Shodan, which users can use to lookup IoT devices and configure real-time notifications to notify them about what devices are connected.
Shodan is an extremely popular solution that has over 3 million registered users, including 89% of the Fortune 100 and five of the top six cloud providers.
It’s also competing against ecosystem-driven IoT security solutions like Microsoft Defender for IoT, a network detection and response solution for IoT devices that was announced as the organization raised $10 billion in revenue for its security business, and Amazon IoT Device Defender, a managed service for auditing IoT device configurations.
However, Rouland argues that Phosphorous Cybersecurity’s solution stands out from IoT vulnerability research and discovery competitors because it “actually fixes vulnerabilities with a click, whereas the rest of the market simply reports them,” he said.
“What we do is provide full scope IOT security. We not only go in and identify at least 90% of all your overlooked, ignored IOT devices on the network (down to the model numbers and firmware version), but we also bring them into an automated remediation platform which is the only one of its kind,” he said.
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