The venture arms of Microsoft and Qualcomm have invested in Team8, a two-year-old Israeli creator of cybersecurity startups, in an example of major U.S. corporations getting behind Israel’s expanding cybersecurity industry as online threats grow, Reuters reports. Citigroup Inc. is another new investor, helping to bring Team8’s total funding to more than $92 million.
Team8 co-founders CEO Nadav Zafrir, Israel Grimberg and Liran Grinberg are veterans of the Israeli Defense Forces’ Unit 8200, which collects and analyzes signal intelligence. Israel has some 450 cyber startups, which receive 20 percent of their investment from outside the country. The proliferation of start-ups means that several companies compete in every subsector.
Team8 creates cybersecurity companies, rather than investing in them, according to its website. Two companies it has created are Illusive Networks, which uses deception technology to detect attacks and has been installed at banks and retailers, and Claroty, which secures critical infrastructure sites such as oil and gas fields.
Other Team8 investors include Accenture; Alcatel-Lucent; AT&T; Bessemer Venture Partners; Cisco; Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors; Marker LLC; Japan’s Mitsui; Nokia; and Singapore’s Temasek. Microsoft made its first Team8 investment in June.
Team8 employs 180 people in Israel, New York City, Britain and Singapore, and plans to hire 100 more workers this year, Reuters reported.
Last year saw major increases worldwide in ransomware, distributed denial-of-service attacks, and attacks on multinational corporations through phishing emails