Why I invested in Cyscale

Cyscale: Cybersecurity Knowledge Graph to Inform and Secure the Modern Infrastructures

Last week we announced our investment into Cyscale, a company leading the way in the cloud visibility and control space with their cybersecurity knowledge graph platform. We’re investing alongside our friends, Carlos from Seedcamp, Dan from Gapminder, David Mytton from Console, and Micha Hernandez van Leuffen, founder of Fiberplane. We’re really excited for what’s ahead for founders Ovidiu and Manuela, as well as the entire Cyscale team.

As a firm, Notion has a strong cybersecurity DNA. The fund was originally established by the founders of MessageLabs, a cybersecurity solution protecting email accounts from spyware and malware, which was later acquired by Symantec. We’ve also invested in a number of other cybersecurity solutions including Panaseer, who are spearheading the continuous controls monitoring category and Arqit, a quantum-proof encryption solutions provider. It’s a real privilege to be welcoming Cyscale to this fast-growing and ambitious family of future cybersecurity software leaders.

The past decade has been a time of paradigm shifts in how enterprises run and manage their server infrastructures. We’ve moved away from pure on-prem set-ups, into hybrid cloud and on-prem deployments; the complexity has then grown exponentially from there.

The eruption of Kubernetes and thus micro-services has led to a situation where we can no longer easily wrap our heads around the beast that is our infrastructure. According to VMWare, 50% of enterprises run 1000 or more virtual machines, and more complexity is heading our way with the emergence of serverless. Yet, the way we monitor our server stack today hasn’t caught-up and the process often involves scrolling through a table view on AWS, where each virtual machine is listed in a separate row of data.

We’re also now living in the world of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, which results in a lot of unsecured devices connecting to the sensitive assets and therefore creating a huge potential cyber attack surface layer. We need a more dynamic solution to track the network and the data movement across it in a more fluid way, that takes BYOD into consideration.

Last but not least, enterprises are beginning to embrace multi-cloud deployments. One of the main barriers stopping this trend from truly taking off is the ability to secure those deployments in a cohesive way, with out-of-the-box integrations and a holistic understanding of all assets across the cloud providers.

Enter Cyscale and the knowledge graph based approach. Cyscale takes the concept of Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) and develops it further to provide a clear, yet detailed, overview of the entire server stack. This includes plotting the relationships between the various machines to identify threats, exercise compliance and enable the cybersecurity officer to truly understand, for the first time ever, the data flow within their complex server set-up.

Whilst we’re extremely bullish on the cybersecurity use case of the Cyscale product, we also firmly believe that the infrastructure graph that Cycale provides will find many other applications in compliance, server observability, cost optimisation and workflow automation.

Few founders are as well positioned as Ovidiu and Manuela to build a security solution that can harness the modern cloud. Ovidiu started his career at Sophos and then joined CoSoSys, where he co-founded Sensitivity - one of the leading enterprise data loss prevention providers. Manuela also spent time working at CoSoSys alongside Ovidiu. Subsequently she left the business and joined FundingCircle at the point of their rapid growth in 2014, where she worked as a software engineer and learned about the security needs of fast-growth companies operating in sectors where cybersecurity is of utmost importance.

I’m thrilled about announcing our investment in Cyscale and working with Ovidiu and Manuela to bring security and awareness to the modern cloud infrastructures of today.

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