A Virginia tech startup has raised $20 million in venture capital for its software protecting planes, trains, and tanks from cyberattacks, saying many vehicles have outdated defenses against a rising wave of digital threats.
Shift5 says the new backing will help advance its combination of hardware and cloud-based software that helps fleets maintain their cyber-health through data capture, visualizations, analytics, and alerts. The “series A” venture round was led by 645 Ventures, with participation from Squadra Ventures, General Advance, and First In.
The funding comes as a number of high-impact cyberattacks have targeted national infrastructure in recent months, such as the hack that crippled Colonial Pipeline Co. in May. Other attacks have hit logistics providers such as Truckstop.com, Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC), Total Quality Logistics (TQL), Toll Group, and Roadrunner Transportation Systems.
According to Shift5, the operational technology (OT) that underpins critical infrastructure and transportation was developed before the emergence of widespread digital connectivity, modern standards for cybersecurity, and the many layers of digital components and control networks embedded in vehicles. Together, those factors have created a lack of resilience against cyberattacks due to insufficient visibility into data and an increasingly unsecured attack surface.
To build better defenses, Shift5 says its solution integrates directly onto existing vehicle platforms, collecting data from on-board digital components and continuously monitoring data streams for security and operational anomalies. Its analytics platform provides cybersecurity intrusion detection, smarter maintenance, and improved operational intelligence for fleet operators, the firm says.
"The increasing rate of cyber physical attacks against national infrastructure has exposed the digital insecurity of the U.S. systems that underpin modern society. Successful cyberattacks triggered gasoline and meat shortages and public transportation outages, impacting the daily lives of thousands and incurring downstream costs to impacted businesses," Josh Lospinoso, Shift5’s co-founder and CEO, said in a release. "Defending the cyber-physical attack surface of planes, trains, and tanks is a national security imperative. This fresh financing represents significant investment in hiring world-class talent, advancing Shift5's platform, and bringing cybersecurity to the trillions of dollars in fleet assets moving the world."
Shift5 CEO, President, and Chief Growth Officer announce our Series A funding!— shift5co (@shift5co) October 12, 2021
Read full press release here: https://t.co/z6nwB1434J#cybersecurity #techstartup #CEO #cyber #VCbacked pic.twitter.com/JZ6qxFSKzX