Saturday, 8th August 2020

Risky funding!

OutThink secures £1.2m funding for world’s first Predictive Human Risk Intelligence SaaS Platform.

OutThink, the start-up behind the world’s first Predictive Human Risk Intelligence SaaS Platform, has completed its £1.2m seed funding round, led by Forward Partners. OutThink was founded by CISOs for CISOs as an alternative to traditional security awareness computer-based training. It helps enterprise brands identify and understand their human risk in real time and prevent data breaches caused by employees. Customers already include a dozen large, global organisations such as Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) and FTSE 100 and 250 brands, such as Vodafone, Bunzl and Holland & Barrett. The funding will enable the company to expand across the UK, Europe and the Middle East; acquire and support more enterprise customers; grow the company from 15 to 40 employees by the end of the year; and continue product development, with a focus on predictive analytics and advanced data models. Series A funding is expected to follow at the end of 2020.

OutThink is an alumni of prestigious government and private security accelerator programmes including LORCA and CyLon – which have helped launch some of the most successful British security start-ups, such as Tessian and Immersive Labs. It was founded in 2015 by former Bank of Ireland UK CISO, Flavius Plesu, who together with T Prof. Angela Sasse of UCL and Ruhr-University Bochum and three leading CISOs – Taewan Park (ex-Samsung and Panasonic); Darren Argyle (Standard Chartered Bank and ex-Qantas); and Paul Drake (ex-Coca Cola and GSK), have spent three years developing OutThink’s enterprise grade Human Risk Intelligence Platform before taking it to market. This unparalleled wealth of first-hand CISO experience on the team means this is a cybersecurity product built by CISOs, for CISOs.

OutThink offers a web-based platform (SaaS) that has been developed specifically to identify and reduce human risk:

  • Analysis – Its platform provides real-time analysis and continuous risk scoring of employees, including their knowledge level, willingness to comply and use of technology, allowing security teams to make targeted interventions in order to effectively manage the risk of data breaches caused by human behaviour.
  • Education – OutThink is redefining security awareness training by making it bespoke to individual workers’ needs. It uses gamification and two-way communication to make training more engaging, more effective and less intrusive. Employees no longer spend hours watching videos they don’t need or taking security awareness training not suited to their role.
  • Compliance – The data provided by OutThink provides actionable intelligence for CISOs,based on leading cybersecurity frameworks and insights from ISF, NIST, Gartner and ENISA. It enables customers to tailor their security processes to high risk individuals or departments in order to minimise risk and maximise productivity.

“This funding will be crucial to OutThink’s continued innovation and will allow us to push on with developing the next generation of risk intelligence and people-centric security,” said Flavius Plesu, founder and CEO of OutThink. “The company was born out of frustration. As CISOs of large, global organisations, we’ve looked at the causes of breaches, which, despite all the money invested in technology and traditional security awareness training, are still caused by human behaviour. It was clear to me that cybersecurity training wasn’t working, and that none of the tools available could give me a true view of my company’s security posture, from a people perspective. That is why I developed OutThink, because we know what CISOs really need.”

Other investors include Paramount Computer Systems – the largest cybersecurity reseller in the Middle East – and Subatomic Analytics, which brings deep expertise in data science and whose founder, Dr. Shorful Islam, joins OutThink as Chief Product & Data Officer.

“We are delighted to be investing in such an innovative company, especially as this represents our first major venture into the cybersecurity market, an area we have earmarked for huge growth,” said Nic Brisbourne, managing partner at Forward Partners. “We were struck by how OutThink has developed a product with enterprise CISOs in mind, and the company’s vision for the future of cybersecurity. It’s stellar and growing list of enterprise clients was also a great endorsement of the company.”

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