Startup Spotlight: NewSky Security looks to disrupt hackers before nefarious plots are hatched
August 14, 2016
Seid Yassin (557 articles)

Startup Spotlight: NewSky Security looks to disrupt hackers before nefarious plots are hatched

Hardly a day goes by without a high-profile security breach or nasty computer hack.

Scott Wu and Song Li — the co-founders of Redmond-based NewSky Security — want to stop those hackers in their tracks.

The longtime security professionals — Wu held engineering and research roles for Symantec, Microsoft and McAfee while “whitehat hacker” Li worked for Intel, eBay and Expedia — met as neighbors in Sammamish where they started kicking around the idea of better securing mobile apps and Internet of Things devices.

“We started sharing ideas about cybersecurity and internet hacking, and shared the same vision on mobile and IoT future,” said Wu, who in 2014 presented a research paper on mobile security risks at a conference in Australia.

Founded just a year ago, NewSky has already attracted attention — in part because of the track records of the founders. The company’s first product — a software-as-a-service offering known as AppRisk Scanner — has been deployed by PeoplePower, China Telecom and Baidu, not to mention strategic pilot customers such as Facebook and Inrix. For example, ComTechTel uses AppRisk to ensure that navigation apps meet security and privacy requirements.

It also has attracted about $600,000 in angel investment, with another capital raise underway. Competitors in the mobile security arena, include IBM, HP, which both have mobile app risk detection technology. Silicon Valley’s Bluebox also focuses on device protection, but Wu says the IoT security space is “wide open.”

“Our mission on IoT is a generic security containment to cut out man-in-the-middle attacks, and to provide customers threat intelligence of the adversary to their assets,” he said.

Based on early success of the AppRisk product, the 6-person company is now expanding its security offerings to attack the burgeoning Internet of Things arena, a market that Wu pegs at 28 billion devices and worth an estimated $1.9 trillion.

We caught up with the 45-year-old Wu for our latest installment of Startup Spotlight.

Explain what you do so our parents can understand it: “Attackers are everywhere, anywhere and anytime in the age of mobile and Internet of Things. We disrupt the hackers’ business model before the attacks are plotted. This is the proactive risk management to solve the enterprise security nightmare.”

Inspiration hit us when: “When we report a vulnerability to an IoT vendor or an app developer, and they treat it as high priority to address the issue, that’s what inspire(s) us.”

VC, Angel or Bootstrap: “We are blessed by angels who bet on our visions in battling the new threat landscape of mobility and Internet of Things. This accelerated us to ship our V1 AppRisk product in three months, signing a significant contract with top tier carrier to empower the security development lifecycle (SDLC) of their hundreds of thousand of developers. It has enabled us to accept the challenges from IoT vendors to spearhead IoT Risk solution for smart home, smart office, smart utility, and many other verticals.”

Source | geekwire