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Bessemer continues online security interest with Defense.net backing

7 Aug 2013

internet security online keyboardBessemer Venture Partners has continued its track record of security investments by leading a $9.5m financing round for Distributed Denial of Service(DDoS) attack battler Defense.net.

The company, which has just emerged from stealth mode, was founded in December by Barrett Lyon, who was at the heart of creating the DDoS mitigation industry ten years ago.

He said, “A decade ago, small scale DDoS attacks by today’s standards shut down off-shore cyber casinos for extortion purposes, but now political hacktivists and foreign government-backed ‘cyber fighters’ such as Izz ad-Din al-Qassam are attacking critical infrastructure of the US, including financial institutions, utilities, telcos, internet hosting facilities, and state government.

“Although much of this critical infrastructure uses traditional DDoS mitigation solutions, every week brings reports of sites, applications, and services brought down by attacks that are now significantly more sophisticated and 16-times larger than just one year ago.

“Clearly the techniques we developed in 2003 don’t work for global banks today.”

Defense.net was incubated in Bessemer’s Menlo Park office and is the 30th cyber security investment the firm has made, 17 of which have gone public or been acquired.

Bessemer partner and VeriSign co-founder David Cowan joined the Defense.net board at its conception, along with internet visionary Jay Adelson who has pioneered companies including Equinix, Digg, Revision3, SimpleGeo and Opsmatic.

Cowan said, “Banks, utilities, governments and other organizations face increasing threats from more formidable antagonists wielding a growing arsenal of DDoS weapons.

“Existing defenses are falling down on the job and taking down many of their customers when it happens, so we backed Lyon and his all-star DDOS team because they have the vision and unparalleled experience to deliver seamless and scalable business continuity.”

Earlier this year Paladin Capital Group became the latest investor in Bessemer-backed online security company Endgame through a $23m financing round.

Other existing Endgame investors include Columbia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, both of which took part in the Series B round.

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