Posted December 4, 2018

Back in the early 2000s when I was at a national laboratory doing intelligence work, we were warned not to take our laptops when traveling to sensitive countries. I remember being warned that if our laptops were out of our possession, even if for a few minutes, there was a high likelihood they would be implanted with malware.

While we ran the best anti-malware tools, one of the primary concerns was that someone with physical access to the device would be able to implant malware in the laptop’s firmware, which would thus make it virtually undetectable using standard anti-malware tools. This is incredibly problematic because firmware is the software that ships with physical devices to run the hardware and boot process needed to deploy the modern operating system—and modern computer systems have millions of lines of it! This is also to say that firmware is everywhere: It’s in every IoT device; it’s in the switches and routers that underlie the internet; it’s in the security appliances that secure our networks; and it’s in all servers, laptops, and phones. It’s a crucial part of any modern, mission-critical system with broad access to the software within, yet despite its prevalence and the industry’s growing awareness of vulnerabilities in hardware and firmware, there hasn’t been a lot of focus on it from the security vendor community.

And that’s what Eclypsium is looking to change—so I’m sure you can understand my excitement when I first met Yuriy, Eclypsium’s CEO. Yuriy and his co-founder Alex are two of the world’s leading experts in firmware security. They’re also the authors of CHIPSEC, the leading open source project for firmware security, which is used broadly in the industry. Before starting Eclypsium, they were at Intel where Yuriy was the Chief Threat Researcher, and his team is well known in the industry for discovering many CPU and firmware level exploits.

Yuriy, Alex, and the Eclypsium team are building a product that can detect and prevent firmware attacks across the enterprise and in the data center. We led the seed investment in Eclypsium and have since been incredibly impressed with the market response and strong traction across the board including cloud services, large banks, government agencies, vendors, and large enterprise customers.

We’re revved to be part of the journey with Yuriy and his team. We strongly believe this is an area that touches almost all aspects of computing and Eclypsium is the best team to develop the solution.

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