Austin-based security analytics startup Click Security raises $17.5 million for expansion
Feb 26, 2013 (Austin American-Statesman - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
As companies and governments race to protect themselves from the increasing threat of cyber attacks, three California venture capital firms are betting on a solution from Austin-based security analytics startup Click Security.
Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital and Citi Ventures, all based in the Silicon Valley, have invested $17.5 million in the company, whose products analyze and protect against cyber threats.
The new money brings the total amount of funding raised by 3-year-old Click Security to $24.7 million.
The company said it will use the money to expand sales, marketing and engineering.
Click Security was founded by Marc Willebeek-LeMair and Brian Smith, who both also founded Austin-based network security firm TippingPoint Technologies Inc.
TippingPoint was acquired by 3Com Corp. for $442 million in 2005, and Willebeek-LeMair served as 3Com's chief technology officer from 2005 through 2009.
Willebeek-LeMair said Click Security goes beyond traditional security defenses -- firewalls, anti-virus software and intrusion prevention systems -- to find and halt attacks.
"Those methods tend to fingerprint and block known malware variants," he said. "We're evolving past that to real-time security analytics, which... connects the dots in a rapid and accurate manner, and enables us to detect subtle changes in behavior -- which are often the early signs of an advanced attack."
The company, which competes with big players including IBM Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and McAfee Inc., has signed a dozen customers in the financial services, higher education and retail sectors, Willebeek-LeMair said.
The new money will allow the 40-person company to ramp up hiring, possibly doubling in size this year if it can find the right people, Willebeek-LeMair said.
"It's very difficult to find talent, particularly in security," he said. "The region is becoming a security belt, from San Antonio where a lot of talent is coming out of the Force Cyber Command, through Austin, with its startups, all the way through Dallas."
John Vrionis, partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, said his firm was impressed by Click Security's approach to stopping cyber threats.
"The business of global cybercrime, by some estimates, now exceeds $300 billion annually. Traditional security defenses are clearly not getting the job done," he said in a statement. "We believe Click Security has developed a unique approach to providing real-time visibility into the unknown -- representing a game changer for organizations looking to take back their networks."
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