Query.ai, a startup developing what it calls a “security control plane” for enterprises, today announced that it closed a $15 million series A round led by SYN Ventures with participation from ClearSky Security and South Dakota Equity Partners. The round, which brings the company’s total raised to nearly $20 million, will be used to support product R&D in the coming year, CEO Dhiraj Sharan said in a statement.
Cybersecurity is a persistent challenge at organizations with sprawling digital operations. According to Ponemon Institute research, only half of companies have a consistent encryption plan implemented across the entire enterprise. In another report — this conducted by Cyentia Research for cybersecurity company Siemplify — only 1 in 5 security operations practitioners described their organizations as having “mature” cybersecurity capabilities.
Query provides a browser-based product that derives insights from cybersecurity data by connecting to cloud, on-premises, and third-party software-as-a-service platforms via APIs. Query offers tools that enable users to investigate and respond to threats in real time and spot historical trends, the company says, beating back attackers before they cause a major breach.
Above: Query.ai’s cyber monitoring dashboard.
“Cybersecurity data no longer lives in just one place. It lives in the cloud, with third-party providers, and on-premises. Companies everywhere are struggling to figure out how they can bring security operations capabilities to these disparate environments, and they’re seeing that it’s extremely difficult, costly, inefficient, and ineffective to send information in and out of these silos,” SYN Ventures managing partner Patrick Heim said in a statement. “Query offers the only solution on the market that solves this pervasive problem by leaving the data where it lives, connecting to disparate data sources with APIs, and serving up the ability to access, investigate, and respond to the threats in real-time, from one, unified browser interface.”
Centralizing cybersecurity data often poses an implementation blocker for enterprises. Citing data from the Ponemon Institute, Query says that the average organization spends $2.7 million per year on engineering work used to integrate disparate security data and build out rules and content. Further, only a fraction of organizations rate their security engineering efforts as “very effective.”
“Enterprises have found that security, orchestration, automation, and response tools require time-consuming software engineering efforts to build playbooks and manage API integrations, and they are still unable to provide analysts with the ability to investigate interactively. And, extended detection and response (XDR) still relies on a single technology provider to do all the collecting, aggregating, correlating, and analyzing,” Sharan said in a press release. “Our platform is a lightweight solution that doesn’t require organizations to centralize data, assign a dedicated engineer for management, or rip and replace any existing, best-of-breed technologies. It is an XDR-enabling connective layer that serves as a data hub to provide direct access to data, where it lives, and helps security operation center teams understand data relationships and initiate response actions.”
Query joins a growing segment of cybersecurity startups that have attracted record venture capital investment in recent months. According to Pitchbook, less than six months into 2021, cybersecurity companies nabbed $9.9 billion globally — 96% of the total raised in 2020. Driving the backing is an alarmingly high number of cyberattacks, with 2021 breaking a record for zero-day hacking attacks as well as ransomware attempts. High-profile incidents continue unabated, as evidenced by a ransomware attack on Sinclair Broadcasting Group that took dozens of local TV stations owned by the company off the air this week.
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