SOURCE: UpGuard

UpGuard

August 11, 2016 13:31 ET

UpGuard Snags $17 Million to Accelerate Adoption of Cyber Risk Benchmark for Companies, Insurance Providers and Consumers

CSTAR Product Offers Companies Unparalleled Visibility Into IT Assets, Enables Superior Cyber Risk Management

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - Aug 11, 2016) - UpGuard today announced $17 million in Series B financing. The round was co-led by new investor Pelion Venture Partners and existing investor Square Peg Capital, with participation from all existing investors, as well as strategic investment from Australia's largest general insurer IAG. UpGuard will use the funds to fuel an aggressive growth strategy centered on increasing adoption of its cybersecurity assessment score, or CSTAR score, and exploring insurance opportunities. It aims to become the cyber risk benchmark for companies, insurance providers and consumers alike.

Just as credit scores aggregate financial risk factors into one easy-to-understand number, CSTAR provides a single measure of risk for information security to customers including Rackspace, Ulta, Citrix, Amadeus, PGI and ADP. Based on information about an organization's actual configuration state and testing habits, the CSTAR is one of the most comprehensive assessments of internal and external systems available, representing the collective vulnerability of every server, network device, and cloud service to the risk of breaches. Customers trace changes in their CSTAR down to the smallest building blocks of information technology and can then use the full report to remediate risks internally, as well as potentially negotiate better cyber insurance policies.

Commenting on its decision to invest in UpGuard, Ron Arnold, group general manager of IAG's Venturing Team, said, "We were drawn to UpGuard for a number of reasons, but primarily because it has developed a unique response to the growing need for organizations to mitigate cyber risk. UpGuard's central offering called CSTAR provides information that helps companies properly understand and manage their IT assets. It also has the potential to help insurance companies like IAG better assess -- and therefore price -- customers' cyber risk. The potential value of CSTAR, as well as the founders' entrepreneurial track record, made investing in UpGuard the right choice for IAG. We look forward to working with their team to help refine the company's methodology, and to test the product's ability to predict cyber risk."

UpGuard also publishes a free external assessment for all websites -- found on https://www.upguard.com/webscan -- based on publicly available information. As with CSTAR, it is measured on a 0-950 scale and provides both companies and consumers a useful starting point in understanding the type of security protections brands have in place.

"Managing the risk of data breaches is a complex problem in need of innovative solutions. UpGuard's ability to assess both external and internal risk factors is a huge step forward in understanding the complete security posture of a business," said Chris Cooper, partner at Pelion Venture Partners. "UpGuard's CSTAR has both the technical rigor and simplicity to bring all executives together on the journey toward resilience. By automating data collection and rolling it up into a single credit score for IT, UpGuard has provided a valuable tool for businesses serious about their digital future."

UpGuard Grows Its Global Base of Customers and Partners, Continues to Build World-Class Team

Since its launch in January, UpGuard has rapidly grown its customer base, with thousands of customers worldwide using its technology to validate mission-critical infrastructure and continuously detect potential risks. Other highlights of the company's most notable achievements include:

  • Adding Hamish Hawthorn, former CEO of ATP Innovations, the leading incubator program in Australia, as the company's first vice president of corporate development;
  • Increasing revenue more than 400% year-over-year;
  • Announcing insurance partnerships with IAG, CRC Insurance and Corona Underwriters;
  • Announcing a channel partnership with Promark, a premier value-added distributor and wholly-owned subsidiary of Ingram Micro Inc.; and
  • Announcing a technology partnership with IT service management company ServiceNow.

"UpGuard is on track to be the first to bring standardization to a deeply disorganized and fragmented space," said Mike Baukes, co-CEO and co-founder of UpGuard. "We have the resources, the smarts, and the strategic partnerships to establish a market-wide cyber risk benchmark that will totally transform modern businesses and drive down the number of breach headlines. By providing the tools needed to build resilient information systems, make strategic decisions with real data in real time, as well as obtain cyber insurance should the worst case scenario occur, we equip businesses to start fighting fire with fire."

About UpGuard
UpGuard is the company behind CSTAR, the world's only comprehensive and actionable cybersecurity preparedness score for enterprises. The score allows businesses to understand the risk of breaches and unplanned outages due to misconfigurations and software vulnerabilities. It also offers insurance carriers a new standard by which to effectively assess client risk and compliance profiles. Thousands of companies, including Rackspace, Ulta, Citrix, Amadeus, PGI and ADP, use UpGuard to validate infrastructure, continuously detect risks and procure cybersecurity insurance. UpGuard is headquartered in Mountain View, CA with offices in Portland, OR. To see how UpGuard works, or to get your CSTAR rating, visit www.upguard.com.