IoT Security Startup VDOO Nabs $13M In Funding, With Former Palo Alto Networks Channel Exec Heading Up Partner Program Strategy


Internet of Things security startup VDOO has raised $13 million in initial funding, which the company said it will use to develop its platform to help IoT manufacturers secure their connected products.

IoT security is emerging as a pivotal challenge for manufacturers that already need to deal with time to market, cost and functionality. While in the past many manufacturers would ignore security, increased attacks – including distributed denial of service attacks and critical infrastructure exploits – have thrust IoT security into the spotlight.

"The problem is that there are no actionable processes or standards to guide IoT makers in the implementation of the proper security for each specific device," said Netanel Davidi, founder and co-CEO of VDOO, in a statement. "VDOO helps IoT makers protect their customers by enabling them to set and implement the right security for each of their devices in a quick and balanced manner.’

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The venture round, established by security experts Uri Alter, Netanel Davidi and Asaf Karas, was led by 83North with participation from Dell Technology Capital, as well as strategic individual investors including David Strohm, Joe Tucci and Victor Tsao.

VDOO's security platform provides an automated, three-pronged approach to securing IoT devices: "analysis, action and trust," according to the company.

First, the platform uses unattended firmware analysis tools to identify all of a device's security attributes – including security requirements and gaps. Then, the platform will automatically develop device-specific guidelines to secure the device as well as tools, services and partnerships that enforce the security throughout the device's life cycle.

Finally, VDOO's platform touts a visual certification and digital agent-based IoT certification engine and to communicate to other systems that security requirements have been met.

The company is in early beta with "major IoT makers" and said it will launch the fully automated end-to-end offering by 2019.

Part of that final launch is a stronger strategy around go-to-market initiatives. Ariel Kriger, who formerly served as the global lead of Palo Alto Networks' cybersecurity solutions channels, will be leading VDOO's partner strategy as vice president of strategic initiatives.

"We're looking for the right security advisers who can step in and drive our solution with the right install base where they have the mind-share and have those important conversations to help customers become protected," Kriger told CRN.

VDOO is looking to build an official partner program in the coming months, targeting large, multinational consultants and systems integrators, he said.

Channel partners play a critical role in securing customers in new locations, which is especially significant as VDOO expands beyond its base in Tel Aviv with new offices opening in the U.S. and U.K. in the next two quarters, according to Kriger.

"We see huge opportunities to work closely with the channel to address a greenfield of security opportunities," he said. "We welcome partners to approach us."