Scottish cyber start-up Lupovis secures over £615,000 in pre-seed funding
Above average pre-seed investment signals high interest in the Lupovis platform and a successful future for Scotland’s newest cyber-spin out
GLASGOW, UK – Lupovis, a University of Strathclyde cybersecurity spin-out, has secured a pre-seed investment of over £615,000 from a syndicate co-led by Techstart Ventures, a leading investor of seed capital and Nauta Capital, a leading pan-European venture capital firm together with an investment by the University of Strathclyde itself. According to data on HubSpot the average pre-seed round for start-ups is just above £360,000, putting Lupovis significantly ahead of many other technology companies in its first round of funding.
With the global costs associated with cybercrime predicted to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025 and organisations getting targeted with ransomware every 11 seconds, cyber defences have never been more critical. Lupovis has created a dynamic deception solution that leads cyber attackers and ransomware away from high value assets, delivering a pro-active defence which turns the ‘hunter into the hunted’. Founded in June 2021, the funding means Lupovis is one of Scotland’s fastest growing cybersecurity start-ups and it plans to use the investments to expand its team and enhance further functionalities within the platform.
Xavier Bellekens the CEO of Lupovis, said:
“We are thrilled with the opportunities this investment creates to develop Lupovis’ dynamic deception capabilities. Our system uses artificial intelligence to create scenarios which mirror the existing infrastructure of an organisation and engages the attacker into believing they are progressing towards assets of value, turning networks from a flock of sheep to a pack of wolves. We are in a unique position where we have unrivalled data on attacker techniques, methods and behaviour. We will feed this data into our platform, so our customers will always remain one step ahead of attackers, predicting their next move, long before they actually make it.”
Lupovis deploys a network of collaborative decoys to lure the attacker away from assets, whether it be personal data or sensitive information, or stop hackers trying to shut down systems to damage business continuity. Lupovis, an amalgamation for the Latin words for wolf (lupus) and sheep (ovis), offers the attacker incentives that steers them on a certain path. Once an adversary has penetrated a network, the system entices them by creating an offensive deception environment, which engages the attacker from the minute a move is made within the network.
“The system responds dynamically to the behaviour and skills level of the attacker by using incentives and gamifying the vulnerabilities that engage the hacker. The longer the attacker is engaged, the longer the system is blocking malicious actions that would otherwise stop the network functioning. The benefits are uninterrupted business continuity, whilst simultaneously gathering information on the hacker’ skills and strategies that inform security teams of the optimum counter-measure that arrests the breach,” continued Bellekens.
Prior to the investment, Lupovis had secured funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Cyber Security Academic Start-ups Accelerator Programme (CyberASAP), which aims to translate academic research in cyber protection to commercial opportunities, Scottish Enterprise’s High Growth Start-up Programme to prove the “Commercial Opportunity” and CENSIS, Scotland’s Innovation Centre for “Sensing, Imaging and Internet of Things (CENSIS)”.
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Lupovis is a software-based innovation provisioning an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven deception environment that enables the definition and execution of pro-active cyber-attack mitigation strategies. Lupovis allows early cyber-attack identification, dynamic management and classification. Furthermore, Lupovis manages the hacker’s evolution through the network by providing them with enriched engagement tools, extending the time window for operators to respond with the most effective countermeasure inherently allowing a reduction in the impact of a breach, whilst maintaining the operational integrity of the organisation.
Lupovis’ deception framework comprises a unique combination of attacker engagement elements e.g. decoys, vulnerabilities, decoy data implemented through establishing a narrative embedded with manipulation and gamification methodologies. ‘Gamification’ decoys deploy vulnerabilities optimally aligned with the skills of the attacker; the ‘narrative’ maintains the attacker on dynamically-defined paths through the computer-network by adjusting the vulnerabilities difficulty to retain authenticity and in turn maintain attacker engagement. Maintaining the engagement of the hacker with a sequence of faux targets/decoys/honeypots is essential to guide the breach along network paths away from valuable targets, hence mitigating the impact of a cyber-attack. Lupovis addresses insider threats and advanced attackers that have already penetrated the network and by-passed all other defences.
Lupovis’ AI-driven engagement environment enables;
– Early detection of attackers/intruders
– A reduction in the number of false positives alerts; Security Operation Centre (SOC) operators are only issued with alerts triggered when hackers engage with the decoy, hence reducing the number of tasks operators have to manage/discharge.
– Increase business continuity as the attacker is dynamically engaged through paths of faux decoys that react to attack moves, continually yielding key information on his previous and next move in so doing determining his skills and attack strategies.
The data acquired accurately characterises the attacker and associated strategies which then informs on the most effective countermeasure to arrest the attack, reducing the overall cost of successful cyber-attacks whilst facilitating the forensics of the breach.