Cyber awareness platform Riot lands $12m


Riot has bagged $12m in a Series A funding round to iterate on its all-in-one cyber awareness platform for firms and their employees, according to TechCrunch.

TechCrunch said that the startup originally focused on fake phishing campaigns. It now also offers customized educational content that can help grow the cybersecurity culture in a team.

The funding round was led by Base10 and saw participation from angel investors such as Duolingo’s co-founder Severin Hacker and Snyk’s founder Guy Podjarny. Y Combinator, Funders Club and Founders Future also took part.

The main interface of Riot is a chatbot called Albert. It is available on Slack, Microsoft Teams or through a web interface. Each course is interactive and the content changes dynamically depending on each employee’s cybersecurity knowledge.

Instead of giving a general definition of a data breach, Riot starts by telling you that your email address can be found in five different data breaches. When the company then tells you what it means, you are more likely to pay attention and reach the end of the training. Admins can then track the progress of their teams.

Riot can also encourage employees to activate two-factor authentication on important services. Many hackers also rely on LinkedIn data to find out who you are working with and send a message using some co-worker’s name.

Riot founder and CEO Benjamin Netter told TechCrunch, “I read a study from the 1980s and they were looking at the effectiveness of each teaching method. With one-to-one relationships, when you teach someone individually, the student is better than a student who attends normal classes in 98% of cases. We can’t have a teacher per student at scale, but we try to create these one-to-one relationships.

“This year, our big move will be AI. When I say that, I’m a bit annoyed as people think we are following trends. But we’ve been tracking AI for a while.

“Large language models like GPT-3 or speech recognition models like Whisper are going to change the nature of cybersecurity threats. “AI is going to have a huge impact on hacking and social engineering. Tone has always been the issue with phishing emails. But AI is going to solve these tone issues.”

Build38, which develops mobile application protection solutions, has raised €13m in its Series A funding round.

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