Cybersecurity start-ups – Developing solutions to make the world safer

November 5, 2018

Cyber-breaches resulting in losses of billions of dollars; Identity theft causing complete havoc; Stolen IP designs leading to bankruptcy. While these may sound like the scenes from the latest Hollywood blockbuster spy movie, they are actually scenarios that the inaugural ICE71 Accelerate start-ups are trying to prevent.

Held from August to October 2018, ICE71 Accelerate is a programme for early stage cybersecurity start-ups. Over three months, the companies sharpened their value proposition, go-to-market strategy, commercial model and business strategy. This experience allows them to take the leap from just have a proposition or minimally-viable product to establishing a sustainable and scalable business. The start-ups benefit from guidance by some 60-70 mentors, attending various talks and masterclasses by leading cybersecurity experts, participating in trade shows and networking with potential customers, investors and the cybersecurity community.

Five cybersecurity start-ups completed the first run of ICE71 Accelerate and will receive S$30,000 in capital funding from ICE71 to grow their business. They can also base themselves at the co-working space at ICE71, which acts as a launch pad to international markets. ICE71 Accelerate culminated with Demo Day, where the start-ups pitched to a packed auditorium of more than 200 people, looking specifically for funding and pilot customers. The audience consisted of investors, start-ups, government agencies, corporates and anyone interested in knowing more about the latest cybersecurity trends.

In his keynote address at Demo Day, Mr Teo Chin Hock, Deputy Chief Executive (Development) of the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), shared emerging areas where cybersecurity innovations are sorely needed – Cybersecurity of Operation Technologies; Cybersecurity of the Cloud; Cybersecurity of Internet of Things; and Cybersecurity of the Human.

“Many in cybersecurity have concluded that a cyberbreach is no longer a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. Any network or system can be hacked and breached. Attacks come from all directions; from the outside, from the inside, via the weakest links. So, cybersecurity is now about building resilient systems that can continue operating to deliver essential services that they are designed for, while cyber defenders go about eliminating the attacks,” said Mr Teo.

The five ICE71 Accelerate companies are:

  • Apvera – This company has developed a suite of security, risk and compliance solutions to enable organisations to identify and respond to cyber risks, ensuring their data is managed well. Such solutions are in high demand, as cyberbreaches can be very costly, including Facebook’s US$1.6 billion fine and Uber Technologies $175 million settlement.
  • Cloudpurge – Realising that majority of cyber breaches are caused when users click on bad web links, Cloudpurges’ tagline is “Click with no fear”. The company provides protection from browser, email and document-based malware, ransomware and phishing attacks. Its virtualisation technology executes all web browsing in an isolated disposable container environment, removing the cyber risk.
  • Secucial – This company’s name is based on their belief that Security is Crucial. They have developed a digital identify wallet, that links users’ physical and digital identities. This allows people to control how and when their identity credentials are shared publicly. Due to the rapid increase in devices connected to the internet, the market size for such solutions is expected to grow significantly.
  • Silicon Cloud International – This company provides military-grade secure collaborative development workflows so businesses can secure all development information, while enabling cross-organisation design collaboration. Their cloud-based platform enables the efficient use of software tools and computing hardware in a secure collaborative design environment.
  • SocView – Set up by a team of cybersecurity analysts, this start-up aims to make other cybersecurity analysts’ jobs easier and more efficient. They have developed an integrated security platform to manage multiple security processes from one centralised console. This helps security operational teams to improve their efficiency by some 40%. SocView is running four pilots, already helping customers to detect and respond faster to cybersecurity threats.