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October 15, 2013

CounterTack, A Radically Different Security Company, Announces $12M Series B

Local security tech company CounterTack announced today that they have raised a $12 million Series B Round of funding from Goldman SachsFairhaven Capital as well as a group of private investors.

We covered CounterTack recently on VentureFizz, and their story is nothing if not fascinating. Of particular note is the influence that the former Commander of the US Central Command, who led U.S. operations in the Middle East, William Fallon, has had on CounterTack. After meeting the founding team at MIT, Fallon joined the company as an advisor, and helped them raise $8M from various unnamed investors.

More recently, Fairhaven Capital was part of the $9.5 Series A in 2011

The press release announcing the $12M Series B stated that the new funding will, "help CounterTack to support its accelerated go-to-market strategy and global expansion in the endpoint threat detection and response market."

The company has taken a very different approach to network security. As CEO Neal Creighton explained to me this summer, CounterTack doesn't try to stop hackers with a firewall, but tracks hackers, learns their tactics, and better counters their attempts to disrupt networks.

“If we can be covert and underneath the hacker so they can’t see us,” he said, “and if we can see everything that they do to an operating system, we can understand what manipulations have to happen to the system for that machine to be taken over. We can detect very quickly that the attack is happening.”

CounterTack has two products, Scout and Sentinel, that track hackers down in operating systems, and learn the methods they are using before shutting them down. By building a database of various attack attempts and tools, CounterTack quickly find similarities in networks to stop a threat before it can do harm. This is quite a different approach than trying to block attacks with firewalls that are becoming increasingly less effective against new hacking methods.

“It’s a totally radical way of thinking,” Creighton said. “You will get infected. The name of the game is the time between infection and detection. If we can bring it down to 90 seconds, a minute, or an hour versus the three months or even sometimes the year we are seeing these attacks happening over now, we can stop the attack.”

“We have developed technology built on that premise,” he added.

As for the $12M round, Creighton explained in the press release announcing the deal, “The market has shown tremendous interest in our approach to securing enterprise endpoints and defending against highly targeted and persistent attacks. As a result of our momentum, we are currently oversubscribed, with the potential for CounterTack to receive additional funding in this round.”

Moreover, CounterTack has implemented its Sentinel product for South Korea's monster network company, SK Infosec, to "play a critical role in countering the ongoing cyber attacks that South Korean organizations face everyday."

Dennis Keohane is a staff writer for VentureFizz. You can follow Dennis on Twitter (@DBKeohane) by clicking here.