Threat Intelligence & Incident Response

Cybersecurity startup ActZero announces its public launch


ActZero, a cybersecurity startup whose mission is to make cybersecurity accessible and scalable to small and mid-sized businesses by complementing managed detection and response services with artificial intelligence, today announced its public launch.

ActZero was founded in 2019 to bring a dramatic new approach to cybersecurity to small and mid-size businesses, and it has raised a $40 million Seed round led by Point72 Hyperscale. Last year, ActZero acquired IntelliGO Networks, a Toronto-based cybersecurity services firm. As part of the launch, IntelliGO has been rebranded as ActZero to reflect that the firm now offers a unified, AI-driven security platform.

“We custom-built ActZero to provide best-in-class cybersecurity efficiently for the businesses that need it most,” said Sameer Bhalotra, the CEO and cofounder of ActZero and former Senior Director for Cybersecurity in the Obama Administration. “To realize our vision, we’ve combined the power of artificial intelligence with the unique strengths of human threat hunters. We believe this combination represents the future of cybersecurity — as well as the key to unlocking the promise of artificial intelligence.”

Small and middle-market organizations often face similar threats as large enterprises, but without the resources to protect themselves. This leaves them vulnerable to threat actors who target smaller businesses due to the lack of appropriate security controls. According to a survey by the U.S. Small Business Administration, 88% of small business owners feel their business is vulnerable to cyber threats, but many cannot afford traditional managed security services and they have limited time to devote to cybersecurity.

This is a natural area for innovation using artificial intelligence. Machine learning makes it possible to identify more threats more quickly and with greater accuracy, by automating manual work, pattern-matching for threats, and benefitting from network effects. Yet game-changing technology has tended to be limited by an overreliance on (and over-marketing of) the belief that AI is a silver bullet in threat detection. In reality, AI and ML are enablers in threat hunting, and the success of those is highly dependent upon the strength of the threat hunters using the data. This is where ActZero’s focus on combining cutting-edge artificial intelligence with expert threat hunters is unmatched in improving the security posture of organizations.

It can take artificial intelligence startups years to acquire sufficient data to train their models. IntelliGO’s experience and learning in the market preceded the availability of AI technologies, and the combination accelerated ActZero’s ability to train its models. Our unified, AI-driven security platform is able to ingest high volumes of data from diverse sources, reducing the noise of detections, to build tailored risk profiles — resulting in better, more precise protection. Threat hunts enabled by artificial intelligence can manage and contain risks at a fraction of the cost of traditional approaches, and exponentially less than a customer trying to build out its own security operations center (SOC).

“ActZero has developed an elegant solution for addressing the most pressing security concerns of SMBs today with its unified, AI-powered platform,” said Dan Gwak, head of Point72 Hyperscale.  “ActZero is unique in its appreciation for and realization of a combined people and automation model. We believe that ActZero has the potential to transform how security solutions are delivered to help businesses achieve better security posture more affordably. We’re excited to partner with them on this critical journey.”

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