Sternum raises $6.5M Series A on its IoT security bet

If we have learned anything from the mass production of cheap internet-connected devices it is that security was an afterthought. Default passwords are the norm and security flaws aren’t patched, leaving entire fleets of smart devices vulnerable to attack.

But one Israeli security startup is taking a different approach to protect vulnerable Internet of Things devices.

Sternum, headquartered in Tel Aviv, provides an embedded integrity verification technology, known as EIV, which verifies that the app hasn’t been maliciously altered in some way. Its technology detects code vulnerabilities to prevent attacks before they are exploited. Its advanced detection system, or ADS, brings real-time threat detection, allowing companies to respond to attacks in real time.

It’s a novel idea for when there is no other way to secure a vulnerable device.

Earlier this year, Sternum was first with a fix for a new wave of vulnerabilities that hit millions of Internet of Things devices. Dubbed Ripple20, the vulnerabilities allow hackers to hijack potentially hundreds of millions of affected devices.

“Patching vulnerabilities is an endless game,” Sternum’s founder and chief executive Natali Tshuva told TechCrunch.

“Unlike many other solutions, we are not focused on patching every vulnerability on a device. We are solely focused on the exploitation stage, or the point at which the hacker takes advantage of a vulnerability to execute an attack,” she said.

Tshuva’s roots are as a security researcher, where she found several previously undiscovered vulnerabilities in Linux, Android and other embedded systems.

“I realized that there are real technological and market challenges to securing these devices properly,” she told TechCrunch. “I wanted to apply my know-how in cybersecurity, research, product and managing talented R&D teams to create innovative solutions that will truly solve the problem, end-to-end.”

It’s a bet that’s paying off.

The company revealed its $ 6.5 million Series A round, the company announced Tuesday. The round was led by Square Peg with participation from Merle Hinrich and European venture firm BTOV.

Philippe Schwartz, a partner at Square Peg, said he was “impressed with Sternum’s innovative products and diverse team, whose technologies will power our connected future with uncompromising security protection and rich, data-driven insights.”

Startups – TechCrunch

MeetElise Raises $6.5M for its AI-Powered Assistant for Rentals

COVID has brought contactless to the forefront in situations where technology can replace human interaction. This societal shift has had a significant impact on the real estate industry, forcing it to reexamine how to better serve and communicate in times where in-person interactions are not advisable.  MeetElise has built an AI personal assistant that helps leasing agents manage the rental process and respond immediately to prospect leads, questions, and even schedule guided tours. The company’s growth is up 50% during COVID. CEO Minna Song shares more about how the platform is simplifying the rental process with AI, how leasing agents are reclaiming 2-3 hours a day with automation, and the company’s recent funding from investors that include Navitas Capital, AvalonBay Communities, and Equity Residential
AlleyWatch