Get cyber smart: 10 promising European cyber security startups

cyber security startups
Charmaine Li

Charmaine Li

Senior editor and writer at Tech.eu. Previously, she was an editor at VentureVillage and contributing writer at BetaKit. Originally from Toronto (Canada), Charmaine now lives and works in Berlin.
charmainecm.li@gmail.com

Sony, Angela Merkel, eBay, the Dutch government, Target. There’s at least one thing they have in common: They’ve been hacked in the past year. And they’re far from the only ones.

To wit, every week there seems to be another a high-profile security breach to keep up with. According to a report by US-based computer security firm FireEye, e-commerce and retail firms saw the most security breaches from hackers in 2014. Government and healthcare entities also noted a rise in attacks during this time period.

Naturally, this had led to a surge of interest in cyber security startups and their potential in protecting various kinds of businesses and organisations. On this side of the pond, Israel is undeniably a solid security software hub in its own right, but how does the rest of the region stack up?

Here, we highlight 10 promising European startups who want to keep you cyber-safe.

1) Silent Circle

silent circleHeadquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

Gist: Founded in 2011 by Mike Janke and Phil Zimmerman, Silent Circle is an encryption communications firm best-known as the creators behind the Blackphone, a security-focused smartphone. In March 2015, the startup announced a $50 million investment to fuel further expansion.

2) BehavioSec

behaviosecHeadquarters:  Stockholm, Sweden

Gist: BehavioSec, founded in 2007, started off as a spin-off from a research project at a Swedish university. Since then, its technology, which analyses a person’s biological characteristics like typing speed and voice patterns, for authentication purposes has reportedly been “nearly universally adopted” by Nordic banks.

3) ZenMate

zenmateHeadquarters: Berlin, Germany

Gist: Government uprisings around the world have spawned a spike in usage of several online privacy tools. In Europe, ZenMate is one of them. The startup is touted as a “one-click” browser-based plugin with VPN-like features.

4) Scytl

scytlHeadquarters: Barcelona, Spain

Gist: Founded in 2001, Scytl hones in on security solutions in the area of e-voting with the aim of modernizing the election process. Backed with about $113 million in funding, it offers services and cryptographic technology that wants to ensure secure electoral processes.

5) Telegram

telegramHeadquarters: Berlin, Germany

Gist: Launched in 2013, Telegram is a non-commercial project offering a cloud-based and encrypted messaging app for free. Supported by Pavel and Nikolai Durov, the company claimed to have more than 50 million monthly active users in December 2014.

6) Hoccer

hoccerHeadquarters: Berlin, Germany

Gist: Founded in 2010, Hoccer is another messenger app positioning itself as a ‘secure’ WhatsApp alternative. In March 2014, the startup picked up €50 million in funding and was reportedly valued at €100 million.

7) Darktrace

Dark TraceHeadquarters: Cambridge, UK

Gist: Headed by a former GCHQ defence chief, Darktrace is one of the rare cyber security startups based in the UK. Founded in 2013, the company sees its tech as a new approach to protecting organizations against serious cyber threats.

Investors seem to agree: Darktrace just raised $18 million.

8) Cryptosense

CryptosenseHeadquarters: Paris, France

Gist: Founded in 2013, Cryptosense develops security software to help analyze potential vulnerabilities in a business, particularly in the financial industry. In September 2014, the startup announced a €700,000 seed round from Elaia Partners.

9) Detectify

dectectifyHeadquarters: Stockholm, Sweden

Gist: The team at Detectify are aiming to take their hacker knowledge in a more ethical direction by offering a SaaS-based tool that audits your website’s security and creates a report on its status. In March 2015, the company announced a €1.55 million funding round.

10) Protonet 

protonetHeadquarters: Hamburg, Germany

Gist: Protonet is a startup that makes secure servers for individuals and small businesses. In 2014, the firm made headlines with its crowdfunding campaign when it raised $1 million in just 89 minutes.

Featured image credit: wk1003mike / Shutterstock

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