Renowned Women Microsoft Researchers Start Company Leveraging Big Data to Expose Cyber Criminals Before they Attack
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — Oct. 13, 2015 — DataVisor, an innovator in utilizing Big Data analytics for Internet security, today announced it has secured $14.5 million in Series A funding, led by GSR and NEA, to help protect consumer-facing websites and mobile apps from cyber criminals. The company’s software features a unique security analytics engine that operates within a Spark big data platform that can analyze billions of events per hour and automatically discover unknown malicious campaigns early, without labels or training data. The investment will be used to disrupt the point security solutions that have become ineffective in handling modern day threats; grow DataVisor’s global footprint, which protects marquee consumer-facing online services; and expand its team of engineering, sales and marketing talent.
Founded in December 2013, DataVisor is already in production, serving some of the largest Internet properties in the world, including Yelp, the world’s largest social review site, and Momo, which with over 180 million users is one of top social platforms in China.
“Yelp is committed to protecting the integrity of our content,” said Jim Blomo, engineering manager for Yelp. “DataVisor’s security analytics are an important part of our spam detection system, and helps prevent malicious accounts from interacting with real users and businesses.”
“The rapid expansion of online services and mobile apps has led to an explosion of user accounts, ushering in the ‘billion-user era,'” said Yinglian Xie, CEO and co-founder of DataVisor. “Cyber thieves are using this growth to their advantage, using fake and compromised accounts to easily hide in the shadows and conduct various forms of fraud against websites and mobile apps. Our mission is to build and restore trust in online communities and services and to protect every one of us legitimate users by finding the hidden enemy lurking within them.”
It is estimated that financial losses due to cyber fraud targeted at online services will exceed $50 billion in 2015. Cyber criminals have become more organized, numerous and sophisticated, utilizing advanced big data technology to conduct large-scale attacks. Legacy security solutions are no longer effective at detecting these modern adversaries that have developed an array of evasion techniques to appear as legitimate users. These advanced tactics overwhelm the capacity of traditional solutions by mustering hundreds of thousands of malicious accounts to launch millions of attacks per day.
“DataVisor’s technology is uniquely adept at finding malicious accounts hiding within an online service,” said Jon Sakoda, general partner at NEA and DataVisor board member. “Well-organized attack campaigns have armies of ‘sleeper cells’ that look and behave like benign accounts, only to wake up all at once and launch a full-scale attack on an online service. DataVisor is the only security company able to root out these ‘sleeper cells’ before they awaken and incur any damage.”
“We were impressed by the exceptional technical capabilities of the DataVisor team and the disruptive technology they have developed to detect attack techniques across a variety of online services,” said Kevin Fong, special advisor to GSR and DataVisor board member. “They have demonstrated unparalleled results for a number of large paying customers, which proves to us they’re able to protect some of the biggest online properties in the world. We believe they have invented the right approach to outsmart the advanced weaponry used by modern cyber adversaries.”
About the Founders
Renowned experts in Internet security with PhDs in Computer Science, female co-founders Yinglian Xie, CEO, and Fang Yu, CTO, started DataVisor to build a best-in-class security analytics solution that could help the online services of all types of industries – including social, financial, gaming, e-commerce and more. Xie and Yu previously worked together for seven years at Microsoft Research Silicon Valley, where they developed a number of technological advancements to help secure Microsoft’s consumer-facing web properties. Their work includes a strong focus on fighting large-scale attacks that combine parallel-computing techniques, algorithms for mining large datasets, and security-domain knowledge. They have rich experience in developing advanced algorithms and systems for identifying malicious network traffic, such as worms, spam, bot queries, fake and hijacked account activities, and fraudulent financial transactions. Xie and Yu hold more than 24 patents and have published more than 50 research papers in top academic conferences.
Based in Silicon Valley, DataVisor provides Big Data security analytics for consumer-facing websites and apps. Leveraging the latest in Big Data applications along with their own patent-pending state-of-the-art algorithms, DataVisor protects some of the largest online properties in the world from cyber criminals.
The company is founded by the world’s experts in Internet security and is backed by NEA, the largest venture capital firm by assets under management, as well as GSR, a venture capital firm that specializes in companies with disruptive technologies serving global markets.