The 10 Hottest Cybersecurity Startup Companies Of 2018

The 10 top cybersecurity startups this year include companies solving challenges around cloud, containers, IoT and processors, third-party risk management, and classifying data assets regardless of type.


Safe And Sound

An assortment of emerging security firms is looking to make their mark on everything cloud and containers to processors and IoT.

CRN has identified 10 hot cybersecurity startups launched in the past four years that stood out from the crowd in 2018 thanks to new funding, the launch of a channel program, or key product enhancements or updates. Five of the top startups are headquartered in Israel, three are based in the western United States, one is based in the Northeast, and one is located in the South.

These companies are solving security challenges such as third-party risk management, classifying data assets regardless of type, uncovering hidden attack vectors within networks, and securing access to corporate applications in hybrid cloud environments. Here are the steps the 10 hottest cybersecurity startups have taken this year to make themselves indispensable to the channel.

Sponsored post


CEO: Guy Leibovitz

Cognigo was founded in 2016, and in May announced a collaboration with Microsoft Azure Information Protection to protect organizations from data breaches by classifying all data assets, both structured and unstructured, on-premises and in the cloud, automatically and at scale. The partnership enables organizations to gain visibility and investigate how users use data right inside the Microsoft suite.

Six months later, the Tel Aviv, Israel-based company announced an $8.5 million Series A round led by OurCrowd to support Cognigo's global sales and marketing expansion and product development, as well as further fuel investment in its cognitive computing technology.

Cognigo offers a single point of control to manage and secure critical data, sensitive assets and personally identifiable information. The company's AI-driven offering provides a human-free data discovery, classification and protection platform, supporting both structured and unstructured data.

Dover Microsystems

CEO: Jothy Rosenberg

Dover Microsystems in February of this year secured $6 million of seed funding in a round led by Hyperplane Venture Capital to expand its engineering and product development efforts and support key hires across marketing and sales.

One month later, the Waltham, Mass.-based company hired a sales director, finance director and marketing director to further Dover's ability to protect embedded processors from network-based attacks. In May, Dover announced the creation of a formal advisory board, and brought on leaders in industrial IoT, infrastructure security, and startup operations to help guide the company forward.

Dover began its existence inside Cambridge, Mass.-based nonprofit research and development organization Draper in 2015 before being spun out as a standalone company focused on processor security two years later.

Luminate Security

CEO: Ofer Smadari

Luminate Security was founded in January 2017, and emerged from stealth 14 months later with $14 million of Series A funding in a round led by U.S. Venture Partners to expand its operations in the United States and develop its channels and customer base.

One month later, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company announced general availability of its platform, which provides secure access to corporate applications in hybrid cloud environments.

The platform provides employees with a consistent, cloud-native experience around any corporate application regardless of where it's hosted, the device being used or where the worker is located. All user activities are examined against company policies, triggering automatic actions to ensure security is being enforced and to prevent unauthorized access.


CEO: Glenn Hazard

Opaq at the start of the year announced plans to onboard between 25 and 30 regionally-focused solution providers to expand its midmarket presence.

In March, the Herndon, Va.-based company acquired FourV Systems to automate and streamline the assessment of clients' security architecture and position around regulatory compliance. One month later, Opaq announced it had closed a $22.5 million Series B round of financing led by Greenspring Associates to help accelerate growth and support for the company’s go-to-market initiatives.

More recently, Opaq hired former CA Technologies, Riverbed and Cisco partner sales leader Lynn Tinney to be the company's global channel chief. Opaq was founded in 2017 and has raised $43.5 million through two rounds of outside funding.


CEO: Matan Or-El

Panorays was founded in 2016, and emerged from stealth mode in June with $5 million of early stage funding led by Aleph and a focus on automating third-party security management.

The Tel Aviv, Israel-based company provides around-the-clock monitoring and alerting upon attack surface changes, making it easy for businesses to view, manage, and engage with third parties to reduce their cyber risk. With Panorays, companies can shorten their third-party security evaluation process while gaining continuous visibility and ensuring compliance with regulations such as GDPR.

The company last month announced its partnership with Google Cloud and availability on the Google Cloud Platform Marketplace. Companies that take advantage of Panorays services through the Google Cloud Platform Marketplace can expect to save anywhere from just 72 hours to six months on supplier vetting.


CEO: Kelly White

RiskRecon was founded in 2015, and has raised $40 million in three rounds of outside funding. A $25 million Series B round in August was led by Accel, and will be used to meet increasing global market demand for third-party cyber risk management solutions.

Two months later, the Salt Lake City, Utah-based company hired former Carbonite and Kaspersky Lab channel chief Jon Whitlock to serve as director of global partner programs. RiskRecon also brought in Boston startup scene veteran Kelly White to serve as vice president of marketing.

Also in October, RiskRecon announced new asset valuation algorithms that can automatically determine the inherent risk value of any Internet-facing system. One month later, the company rolled out an automated risk appetite configuration capability that enables enterprises to automatically produce assessments and action plans based on their unique risk requirements.


CEO: Yaron Rosen

Toka launched in July with $12.5 million in seed funding and a mission of helping governmental agencies tasked with keeping their citizens and government institutions safe transform their cyberdefenses. The company said it will design and help these agencies build a unique cyber strategy and suite of software products.

The Tel Aviv, Israel-based company will design, build, and manage cyber capabilities and software products for governmental, law enforcement, and security agencies tasked with keeping their people safe. Toka will work across strategic, operational, and tactical levels to address the full breadth of its clients’ defensive cybersecurity needs, including developing new technologies when required.

Toka was co-founded by: the former Chief of Israel Defense Forces Cyber Staff; the former VP of business development for Check Point; and the former Israeli Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. Investors in Toka include: Andreessen Horowitz, Dell Technologies Capital, Entrée Capital, Launch Capital, and Ray Rothrock, CEO of cyber analytics firm RedSeal.


CEO: Ben Bernstein

Twistlock in April announced a new version of its flagship product that offers complete protection and infinite scale for any environment combination including those still running in VMs.

Two months later, the Portland, Ore.-based company announced that customers using Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service to manage and scale their container environments can rely on Twistlock’s automated, whitelist-based runtime defense and cloud native firewalling to protect their applications against threats.

A July integration will enable Google Kubernetes Engine customers to use Twistlock to enforce attestations made with Binary Authorization, ensuring only compliant and trusted images are promoted across the development lifecycle and deployed to production.

One month later, Twistlock announced a $33 million Series C round led by ICONIQ Capital that will allow the company to scale its operations and build upon its leading customer and partner base. Twistlock was founded in 2015, and has raised $63.1 million in five rounds of outside funding.


Co-CEOs: Netanel Davidi (pictured) and Uri Alter

Vdoo was founded in 2017, and in January closed a $13 million Series A round led by 83North to develop and commercialize the company's IoT security platform. Other investors include Dell Technology Capital and ex-EMC Chairman, President and CEO Joe Tucci.

The Tel Aviv, Israel-based company said its platform provides an automated process for analyzing devices, delivering on security requirements and implementation guidance, and providing security certifications for a full range of connected devices.

Vdoo performs an analysis around the specific security requirement for each type of IoT device, and then provides a detailed recommended action sets to fill security gaps. Once security features have been implemented, Vdoo validates that security requirements have been met and provides physical and digital certifications.

XM Cyber

CEO: Noam Erez

XM Cyber in March unveiled HaXM, the first fully automated advanced persistent threat simulation platform to continuously expose all attack vectors above and below the surface, from breach point to any organizational critical asset. The offering provides data-driven remediation that focuses on an organization’s critical assets, reduces its IT risk and enables it to optimize its cyber resources.

HaXM can uncover hidden attack vectors within networks in very short time frames and demonstrating how hackers are able to compromise critical assets, despite the modern security controls and processes in place. It has also provided prioritized, simple-to-follow remediation, increasing significantly the security posture and IT hygiene of businesses.

Eight months later, the Herzliya, Israel-based company announced a $22 million Series A round to accelerate its strong growth through expanded sales, marketing and engineering programs. Since its founding in 2016, XM Cyber has raised $32 million in two rounds of outside funding.