AttackIQ, Which Makes Tools to Assess Cybersecurity, Raises $8.8M

San Diego-based AttackIQ, a cybersecurity startup providing a Web-based platform for assessing network defenses, has finally closed its Series A round of founding, after raising a total of $8.8 million over the past three years, according to co-founder and CEO Stephan Chenette.

Institutional investors included San Francisco-based Index Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, and Telstra Ventures. In a statement Wednesday, AttackIQ said it plans to use the funding for sales and marketing efforts, to support ongoing initiatives with strategic partners, and to expand its services and engineering teams.

Chenette said the round also counts funding from AttackIQ’s early investors, a group that includes Ryan McGeehan, a former Facebook director of security incident response; Kevin Mahaffey, founder and CTO of Lookout; and Taner Halicioglu, one of San Diego’s most active angel investors.

“We’re building a new market in security and it’s not a small feat,” Chenette said by phone today. That market is what Chenette calls “continuous security validation.” AttackIQ’s chief product, highlighted recently as an Xconomy San Diego tech company to watch, is a platform dubbed “FireDrill” that provides continual testing of its customers’ networks to answer what Chenette said is a simple question—“How well are your security tools, products, and processes working?”

The company’s technology is intended to help corporate customers and other organizations “measure risk, be more secure, and drive data-driven decisions,” Chenette said. The institutional investors also bring strategic expertise with their funding.

Index Ventures partner Shardul Shah, who is joining AttackIQ’s board, has roots in cybersecurity and also sits on the boards of SourceClear, Signal Sciences, and Datadog. “He’s got roots in cybersecurity,” Chenette said. “He can help us attract top talent in the industry as well as look at related technologies.”

AttackIQ has been working with Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM), the San Diego wireless technology giant, to ensure that its FireDrill software can be used to measure the security of computer networks and devices throughout a customer’s organization, Chenette said.

As Australia’s largest telecommunications and media company, Telstra has a huge presence throughout Southeast Asia, and offers a number of cybersecurity services that measure risk and offer recommendations. “Telstra is key to our building strategic partnerships globally,” Chenette said.

In the three years since AttackIQ was founded, the company has worked with early adopters in the government, social media, telecommunications, financial services, healthcare, and other industries. “We are building a community,” Chenette said. “We don’t just have a technology. We have a platform, an open platform,” with the idea of collaborating to advance cybersecurity methodology and security decision-making.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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