Austin-based tech startup Living Security raises $14M to combat human cybersecurity risk
Cybercriminals have more opportunities and entry points to attack now than ever, and people are frequently the weak links that enable them to access sensitive company information and networks. The rise of remote work has also expanded the attack surface for cybercriminals, and company employees frequently provide an entry point into the enterprise’s network, whether through social engineering, phishing, or other methods.
Enter Living Security, an Austin, Texas-based cybersecurity startup that helps prevent cybersecurity breaches with a human risk management platform that does more than just meet compliance needs. The startup leverages data-driven software and predictive analytics to protect the modern enterprise and its remote workforce from human cyber threats.
Today, Living Security announced it has closed a $14 million Series B round to address this increasingly important area of human risk. The new investment will help the company expand from cybersecurity training to develop its human risk management platform, which combines behavioral data and analytics to spot enterprise security vulnerabilities and ultimately predict where attacks might occur.
The investment was led by Updata Partners and includes previous investors Silverton Partners, Active Capital, Rain Capital, and SaaS Venture Partners. In conjunction with the funding, Living Security also announced that Jon Seeber, General Partner at Updata, will join its board of directors as part of the deal.
Founded in 2017 by Ashley Rose and Drew Rose, Living Security’s mission is to help prevent cybersecurity breaches with a human risk management platform that does more than just meet compliance needs. It truly changes behavior. Living Security believes empowering people is the key to ending breaches. Gamified learning and immersive experiences engage and educate users, while the science-backed, tech-enabled platform uniquely provides CISOs the ability to measure effectiveness and program ROI.
“During the last three years, Living Security revolutionized security awareness training programs that were boring, ineffective, and implemented just to meet minimal compliance requirements,” said Ashley Rose, CEO and co-founder of Living Security. “Now, we are leading the charge to use behavioral data and analytics to measure and manage human risk. At the same time, we can deliver powerful insights to senior leaders and board members and provide predictive interventions to employees. Our goal is to transform people from risks to assets in the defense against cyber attacks.”
According to the information on its website, Living Security said the idea that “Humans are your weakest link,” is a false premise on which most security awareness training is built. Instead, the startup is built on an entirely different paradigm that: people are your greatest asset.
Living Security also plans to use the new funding to rapidly expand market share in the human risk and awareness category, to build upon its record of innovation by developing its Unify human risk management platform, and to use behavioral data and analytics to spot vulnerabilities, ultimately predicting where attacks might occur. The company has been working with its existing enterprise customers to build the Unify platform, which will be released later this year.
This investment comes less than a year after Living Security raised a $5 million Series A round to strengthen its interactive cybersecurity training platform. In 2020, Living Security tripled its revenue and employee headcount and more than doubled its customer count, reflecting sizable expansion within the existing customer base through a more scalable platform. More than 100 enterprises rely on Living Security’s platform, including CVS Health, MasterCard, Verizon, MassMutual, Biogen, AmerisourceBergen, Hewlett Packard, JP Morgan, and Target.
Alongside its cybersecurity training platform, Living Security also led the market in gamified team training with its Escape Rooms product. When the pandemic hit, Living Security successfully brought its in-person training sessions online through the launch of Teams: CyberEscape Online, which delivers engaging and gamified training programs to workers regardless of their location.
Humans are the No. 1 security risk enterprises face, and leadership is missing the visibility required to take action.
“The team at Living Security has proven they can build great technology and innovate quickly to capitalize on new opportunities and demand,” Seeber said. “This investment reflects our confidence in their talent and expertise, and in their ability to execute on their vision for human risk management with Unify. We’re excited to help them continue to thrive in this expanding and critical market.”
In addition to bringing the new human risk management platform to market, Living Security is also investing in go-to-market resources to expand geographic reach and scale both direct and channel sales efforts.
“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in just four years since Ashley and I founded Living Security,” said Living Security Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder Drew Rose. “But we are not stopping. We are committed to continuing to scale our core training platform and innovating with Unify and human risk management.”