Israel's AirEye raises $8 mil to shield networks from attacks leveraging nearby wireless devices 

With thousands of wireless devices estimated to be in the perimeter of a typical organization, the company says its solution is the first to block attacks from them

Israel's AirEye raises $8 mil to shield networks from attacks leveraging nearby wireless devices 

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Israel's AirEye, developer of a solution to protect organizations from cyberattacks leveraging nearby wireless devices, announced Thursday that it raised $8 million in a Series A funding round. 

The round was led by U.S. Venture Partners, with Canaan Partners also participating. With this investment, AirEye said, the company will increase its workforce at its R&D center, based in Tel Aviv, launch operations in the U.S., and develop new marketing and sales initiatives to accelerate global growth. 

AirEye says its Network Airspace Protection (NAP) is the only solution that provides full protection against any form of digital airborne attacks launched against the organizational network, monitoring all wireless communications in real time, detecting violations of corporate security policies and blocking attacks automatically. Digital airborne attacks leverage Wifi, cellular, 5G, Bluetooth and other wireless communications in the corporate airspace in order to gain unauthorized network access, hijack the network or leak data.

According to AirEye, recent research by the company discovered that there is an average of 40,000 potential "antennas for hire" in the proximity of a typical organization.

"AirEye addresses the largest unprotected and hence vulnerable network environment - the digital corporate airspace," said Shlomo Touboul, CEO and co-founder of AirEye. "The company has been doing extensive research into the vulnerabilities and attacks and has coined the term of Antenna for Hire to describe devices that attackers can remotely take over to compromise the corporate network." 

"The vulnerable wireless devices operate as Antenna for Hire outside the network which therefore cannot be adequately protected by today's IoT security solutions. Attackers exploit the Antenna for Hire to gain unauthorized corporate network access, hijack a corporate device or cause data leakage," Touboul said.

Modern malware such as Emotet already incorporates wireless capabilities to propagate across disparate networks. These digital airborne attacks bypass all network security solutions such as network firewalls, NAC or DLP solutions. The rise of such attacks is a consequence of the prevalence of wireless devices in the corporate airspace perimeter, according to AirEye. 

"As one of the largest medical facilities in the Middle East, the corporate network airspace is a big concern for us," said Zafrir Argov, CIO at Hadassah University Medical Center. "We have thousands of corporate and medical devices that operate wirelessly. On top of that, we have hundreds of thousands of visitors roaming our campuses. Ensuring that our devices do not mistakenly connect to open public networks or malicious wireless networks is a must. AirEye enables us to enforce our security wireless policy. The platform provides us the necessary security and compliance-mandated visibility." 

Jacques Benkoski, Partner at USVP, said "AirEye is the first and only comprehensive solution to this novel attack vector. Companies must prepare for the unknown and unexpected and that now includes digital airborne attacks. Security teams often get defeated when they suffer from a failure of imagination."

AirEye's platform is said to be deployed amongst enterprise customers in Israel, Europe, and Japan, including ones in the finance, banking, telecom, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and aerospace industries. 

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