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Mission Secure closes round of seed financing to commercialize cyber security defense technology

Charlottesville, VA-based Mission Secure Inc. (MSi), a next generation cyber defense technology and solutions provider focused on providing advanced protections for physical systems and autonomous vehicles to the defense and commercial sectors, has announced that it recently closed its seed financing round led by Ballast Fund investors, a private equity firm, along with several high net worth angel investors.

The financing provides MSi the means to commercialize technology and intellectual property licensed from the University of Virginia’s Licensing and Ventures Group, and prototypes developed out of the University of Virginia’s Department of Systems and Information Engineering. The original research and intellectual property, called System-Aware Cybersecurity, was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense Office of the Secretary of Defense and Virginia’s Center of Information Technology Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund. System-Aware Cybersecurity has shown great success in early stage demonstrations in autonomous vehicle cyber attack and protection scenarios and protections of intelligence gathering and exploitation systems.

“We continue to see a variety of cyber attacks against our defense, financial, transportation and commercial systems. Cyber attacks will only increase in frequency with greater consequences in our connected world. These threats, when realized, jeopardize national security, critical infrastructure and can do economic and physical harm to important systems and people,” said David Drescher, CEO of MSi. “MSi’s technology addresses cyber attack challenges faced by legacy and new critical systems like autonomous vehicles, military missions and industrial control systems. Our revolutionary approach allows us to monitor, detect, inform and automatically correct against a cyber attack. We are dedicated to improving our clients’ ability to address cyber attacks that initialize beyond the perimeter.”

The close of this round of financing will allow MSi to further advance prototype and operational cyber attack testing programs in autonomous systems and cloud computing environments, and build out their solutions portfolio to monitor, detect, inform and correct cyber attacks in the defense, intelligence, transportation and commercial sectors.

The company also has announced that former White House CIO and cyber security expert Carlos Solari will join MSi’s Advisory Board. Solari, a seasoned security, policy and management expert, has spent more than 23 years in the federal service, including 13 years in the army and six with the FBI’s Criminal Investigation Division prior to serving in the White House. In this role, Solari was instrumental in the development and implementation of the strategy and enterprise architecture for major systems renovation covering all aspects of the enterprise computing serving the White House and its supporting offices. Prior to that, he managed several large-scope, full life-cycle IT programs for the FBI. Solari now owns Solari Innovations Inc., a consulting firm specializing in IT and InfoSec Strategy consulting, enterprise architecture, continuity of operations, disaster recovery and strategic planning.

“Physical and cyber systems were not designed with security in mind,” said Solari. “Now, these two worlds are colliding as cyber physical systems become interconnected to increase efficiency and productivity. As a result, they face one of the greatest cyber security challenges of our time.”

In addition to Solari, MSi will also add veteran IT security professional Paul Robertson to the Technical Advisory Board. Robertson brings over 30 years of progressive experience in information technology, having previously served as director of risk assessment and senior developer at TruSecure Corporation, which merged with Betrusted Holdings in 2004 to form Cybertrust, one of the largest privately held information security firms of its time, before being acquired by Verizon.

MSi focuses on assisting the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, critical infrastructure providers and commercial enterprises with improving cyber defense for their important physical systems.


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