Deeptech
Q2 202418.04.2024

Cybersecurity

Picture of Éanna Kelly

Éanna Kelly

at Sifted

Is AI making us safer, or hackers more cunning? Tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT are helping improve everything from the quality of phishing emails to — more worryingly — the potency of malicious code. Hackers are using deepfake videos to impersonate your boss, while also trying to trick chatbots into forwarding private documents. Cryptocurrency, meanwhile, has given ransomware gangs a way to cash out immediately with little risk.

The staggering advance of generative AI is making it cheaper and lower effort to create new cyber weapons. “It’s worth trying if it only costs you pennies to try and attack something, whereas before it would cost you several thousands of pounds per attempt,” Glyn Roberts, CTO of software company Vention, told Sifted recently.

But while all of this new tech heightens the powers of attackers, it’s the same story for defenders. Large companies are exploring computer-generated passcode defences — which are virtually impossible to steal — as well as the potential of fully automated cyber defence. Paris-based Qevlar AI, for example, uses AI to automate the investigation of cybersecurity alerts. This tech can learn about different alerts and recommend what actions need to be taken next. Growing awareness around cybercrime sees offices enlisting expert training for their staff. Oslo-based Pistachio uses AI to create tailored training programmes. France’s Filigran provides “adversary simulation” — the CEO and cofounder, Samuel Hassine, used to run the threat intel team at ANSSI, France’s national cyber agency.

Europe’s cyber startups need to be nimble because criminals are innovative and the nature of the threat keeps changing. In this new era of AI-enabled cat and mouse, security tools need to be a priority.

20 startups to watch

  • IDlayr logo

    Sifted score

    8.19
    -

    IDlayr

    Streamlined digital identity verification solution

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Serial founder(s)
    • Year founded

      2020

    • HQ

      London, United Kingdom

    • Latest round

      Seed
      8.2m / Apr 2022

    • Total funding

      11.8m

  • Nano Corp logo

    Sifted score

    6.92
    -

    Nano Corp

    Enhanced network security detection technology.

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Serial founder(s)
    • Year founded

      2019

    • HQ

      Paris, France

    • Latest round

      Seed
      4.2m / Oct 2023

    • Total funding

      5.8m

  • Mindgard logo

    Sifted score

    6.87
    -

    Mindgard

    Securing AI models from vulnerabilities.

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Year founded

      2022

    • HQ

      Lancaster, United Kingdom

    • Latest round

      Seed
      3.6m / Sep 2023

    • Total funding

      3.6m

  • Sitehop logo

    Sifted score

    6.77
    -

    Sitehop

    Hardware-enforced encryption for secure communication.

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Serial founder(s)
    • Year founded

      2021

    • HQ

      Sheffield, England

    • Latest round

      Seed
      6m / Feb 2024

    • Total funding

      7.2m

  • Coincover logo

    Sifted score

    6.71
    -

    Coincover

    Securing crypto and blockchain technology.

    • Year founded

      2018

    • HQ

      Cardiff, United Kingdom

    • Latest round

      Early VC
      27.3m / Feb 2023

    • Total funding

      36.1m

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