Security Startup Dragos Lands $10M In Funding As It Seeks Partners With Industrial Control System Expertise

Dragos, a security startup focusing on industrial control systems, has landed $10 million in Series A funding, the company said Monday.

CEO Robert Lee told CRN that the company will use the funding to scale out its platform through new channel partners with specific knowledge of industrial control systems.

"A big part of my strategy is finding the right VARs that can reflect the markets we want to be in," Lee told CRN. "We want to take this funding and scale that through partners. … We're looking for partners who have relationships with industrial customers, who understand the threats they face."

[Related: Security Firms: CrashOverride Malware Marks Newest Security Threat For Industrial Control Systems]

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Dragos offers a software-based platform that enables customers to monitor and respond to threats found in their industrial control systems asset discovery and threat detection tools, as well as a workflow automation center to provide purpose-built playbooks for automating and orchestrating security and compliance procedures.

Beyond its security platform, Lee said that Dragos differentiates itself through its analytics tool, which identifies the techniques, methods and resources that hackers use and turns it into behavioral analytics so that customers can better understand what is going on and receive recommendations for what to do next, as opposed to a series of alerts.

Dragos in May, meanwhile, unveiled a key partnership with Deloitte to help expand its cyber-risk platform for end-to-end operational technology security.

"We're really excited that Dragos got this additional funding ... it shows that they have a leading platform and it's being recognized by investors," said Sean Peasley, partner at Deloitte, where he serves as the Consumer and Industrial Products leader for the Cyber Risk Services practice. "We teamed up with Dragos to extend our offerings around managed threat services -- and now we can manage the IT environments as well as the OT environments."

Lee said on the heels of the Deloitte partnership, he is looking for new solution providers and consulting partners focused on operational technology value-add, as opposed to more traditional IT security partners who may not understand the challenges of downtime and other issues that industrial customers face.

"We're very happy that the IT resellers have done a lot of good work in the community so far, but in this space you have to have someone who is not necessarily niche, but has those working relationship with industrial companies and understands industrial-related challenges," he said. "We're looking for resellers in that space who understand the challenges of their customers and have the right solution for them."

The Hanover, Md.-based company, which was founded in May 2016, initially was funded with a seed round of $1.2 million from DataTribe. Dragos' latest funding round was led by Energy Impact Partners and Allegis Capital, with additional support from DataTribe.

Industrial control system security was underscored when a cyberattack briefly shut down power in parts of Kiev, Ukraine, in December. In June, Dragos and security research firm Eset revealed that this cyberattack involved malware called CrashOverride that targets industrial control systems to take down electric grids.

Moving forward, Lee said that these vulnerabilities will only continue to increase as more companies connect their industrial Internet of Things systems. In response, he hopes to continue building out Dragos' channel strategy around the company's key offerings.

’Critical infrastructure powers the global economy and the fabric of modern society," said Lee. "We all strongly believe that civilian infrastructure should be off-limits to any adversaries, no matter where the infrastructure is located in the world.’