Mihai Raneti, CEO
Every 40 seconds a business falls prey to a ransomware attack. As mankind turns to technology to control every critical function of their lives, right from powering financial markets, military weapons, to traffic lights, perpetrators too have access to newer and wider attack vectors. The recent story of a 16-year-old from Melbourne who repeatedly hacked into the servers of a major blue-chip organization over the course of a year, eventually stealing 90GB of data raises a severe question. If leading organizations in the world are not secure from a teenage hacker, then imagine the plight of the rest of the business world in the face of a sophisticated hack. According to an estimate, by 2021, cybercrime is expected to cost the world more than $6 trillion annually.
Today, cybersecurity is one of the most dynamic and fast-changing fields in technology, with solution providers and cyber-criminals alike, constantly reinventing their methods. Software-based honeypots may have baited hackers in the past, but at present, the predators are getting better and more resilient at systematically exploiting the chinks in the software-based armor. Largely to blame is the rapid expansion of IoT devices, which cannot be fully secured through software solutions. “To add software security systems onto connected devices from drones to smart appliances is not only expensive but infeasible from a technical point of view,” states Mihai Raneti, the CEO of CyberSwarm.
Combating Threats with Precision
Perhaps, the most elegant solution to this exponential game of cat and mouse is to change the game altogether by going to the bare bones of every security infrastructure, i.e., the hardware. By building a security pre-integrated CPU upon which the OS and its applications are overlaid, the entire ecosystem can be secured from the ground up—the game-changing vision pioneered by CyberSwarm.
Incidentally, CyberSwarm had initially started with software honeypot implementations, but along the road, they identified some major vulnerability among existing cybersecurity systems, specifically in automotive, machinery, and robotics. The company tried addressing these vulnerabilities for a good few years but failed as they needed access to certain key components which could only be found at the hardware level.
At this point, the CyberSwarm team decided to build everything from scratch and after failing to pique the interest of thousands of investors, they went on to receive a funding of more than $1 million from the renowned Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Tim Draper.
Today, CyberSwarm, a truly next-gen startup is giving shape to the world’s first cybersecurity CPU that uses advanced machine learning algorithms at the hardware level to ensure that devices communicate and cooperate with each other while countering threats. CyberSwarm’s advanced chip is specially designed to cover a wide range of security needs that come with the rising use of IoT and IIoT devices.
By building a security pre-integrated CPU upon which the OS and its applications are overlaid, the entire ecosystem can be secured from the ground up
“All modern-day enterprises promote BYOD which makes controlling different software further challenging. While existing security solutions are focusing on the software side, no enterprise can achieve a foolproof defense against attacks unless the hardware level is secure,” reaffirms Raneti. By building a CPU and the entire ecosystem around it, like a PCB CyberSwarm is securing communication channels like never before. The company provides the cybersecurity coverage at the hardware level—making digital processing and signal processing at the hardware level imperviously secure at the moment. Moreover, CyberSwarm’s state-of-the-art approach also enables companies to focus on other critical areas of security, such as social engineering and so on.
"While existing security solutions are focusing on the software side, no enterprise can achieve a foolproof defense against attacks unless the hardware level is secure"
The company aims to target three major verticals, namely the automotive, industrial robots, and enterprise application. Of these, the company is specifically focusing on the automotive sector. “Batteries inside cars are highly vulnerable, and if hacked it’s equivalent to a ticking bomb inside a car. To make matters worse, such kind of an attack cannot be controlled from a software point of view,” adds Raneti. Moreover, for cars with electronic control units (ECU), the security is currently achieved by verifying the integrity of the messages coming from all ECUs, rendering the whole process insecure. But with CyberSwarm, automotive makers can rest be assured that information is intercepted only from specific ECUs and sensors. The CPU can be integrated easily into an existing infrastructure, without the need to build additional software. Instead, the CPUs are designed with different sets of instructions which are common and can be used for other purposes as well. “We offer basic guidance during the implementation phase but all our customers can easily adapt to our solution, regardless of the vertical,” says Raneti.
In an instance, one of the top five tech corporations in Japan was planning to integrate all its machinery and industrial robots into an IBM-Watson like platform, with security levels achieved using virtual private networks (VPNs), which are not always reliable. By deploying their CPU-based communication channel and hardware honeypot, CyberSwarm helped the corporation achieve the required level of communication security at the hardware level without the need for additional software. The corporation subsequently wrote off software-based VPNs, replacing them with hardware-based communication channels and the hardware honeypot. The client is now absolutely assured that their robots or machinery will not be hacked as CyberSwarm’s communication channels have a patented design, making it impossible to break through the system. In addition, the client will also be purchasing a small portion of CyberSwarm’s patent and will use their encrypted hardware to secure their communication channels, machinery, and industrial robots.
The Future of Security
In each step, Raneti credits the company’s growing momentum and success to the talented in-house team that consists of experts in the field of electronics and computer science. Every single individual on CyberSwarm’s innovation team has at least one patent to their name and over ten members hold PhDs in areas such as physical chemistry. At some point or the other, each employee at CyberSwarm has worked in the R&D wing for prominent companies in Silicon Valley and the European Union. “At the end of the day we are united by one vision: to empower every device to defend itself against cyber attacks right from its hardware level,” asserts Raneti. Presently, CyberSwarm is not only demonstrating a concept that is completely unique in the industry but their risk-taking attitude makes them stand out from other startups.
The fact that machine learning is becoming more and more important in the near future implies that centralized systems are going to be just as important in the future as well. In the light of artificial intelligence and IoT gaining mainstream attraction, cybersecurity is not attainable using software alone, which is where CyberSwarm sees a lot of potential.
In addition, through an upcoming patent, the company will be able to optimally control machine learning algorithms. With a strong R&D backing, the company has started experimenting with graphene, which is expected to be the future of technology and artificial neural as well. More importantly, CyberSwarm is a visionary company that keeps pushing the envelope of innovation by delivering differentiated and top-notch technological products. “We are addressing concerns that majority of the players in the market tend to miss, and at the rate we are going, we are all ready to emerge as the next big name in cybersecurity,” ends Raneti.