By Paul Sandle
LONDON (Reuters) -British telecoms group BT has taken a multi-million pound stake in Silicon Valley cyber risk management firm Safe Security, underlining its ambition to target growth in the sector, the company said on Wednesday.
Making its first major third-party investment in cyber security since 2006, BT will be the largest investor in the latest round of funding for Safe Security which helps companies and governments gauge and mitigate cyber risk in real time by aggregating signals from people, processes and technology.
It then quantifies the risk as a score and dollar value on its SAFE platform.
BT Chief Executive Philip Jansen said cyber security was at the top of the agenda for businesses and governments battling increasing levels of attack.
“Adding SAFE to BT’s proactive, predictive security services will give customers an enhanced view of their threat level, and rapidly pinpoint specific actions needed to strengthen their defences,” he said in a statement confirming the investment which was first reported by Reuters.
“Already one of the world’s leading providers in a highly fragmented security market, this investment is a clear sign of BT’s ambition to grow further.”
Incubated from IIT Bombay in 2012, Safe Security counted former chairman and CEO of Cisco John Chambers in its $14 million Series A funding, along with senior executives from SoftBank, Sequoia, PayPal, Adobe, and McKinsey & Co.
The latest round, in which BT is the largest investor, is more than double the value of Series A, a source told Reuters.
Safe Security co-founder and chief executive Saket Modi said the company was delighted to be working with a proven security leader in BT.
“By aligning BT’s global reach and capabilities with SAFE’s ability to provide real-time visibility on cyber risk posture, we are going to fundamentally change how cyber security is measured and managed across the globe,” he said.
As part of the investment, BT will be granted exclusive rights to use and sell SAFE to businesses and public sector bodies in the UK, and will incorporate the platform within its wider global portfolio.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Jane Merriman)