watchTowr, a cybersecurity startup headquartered in Singapore, has secured $8 million in a pre-series A investment round which was co-led by Prosus Ventures and Vulcan Capital with repeat participation from Wavemaker Partners. watchTower’s total funding now comes to $10.25 million, factoring in the initial seed round of $2.25 million secured in November 2021 from Vulcan Capital and Wavemaker Partners.

watchTowr will use the additional funds to continue enhancing the technology that underpins its proprietary platform and to seize growth opportunities that are arising from markets outside of Southeast Asia.

Sachin Bhanot, Head of SE Asia Investments, Prosus Ventures, stated: “This investment enables us to expand our portfolio in the domain of cybersecurity and data privacy. Our entry at an early stage reflects our conviction in the platform.”

This pre-series A round underscores investor confidence in watchTowr. Operational since late 2021, watchTowr has seen high interest from some of the world’s leading banks, financial services, insurance companies (BFSI), as well as e-commerce and technology brands.

Managing Director & Head of Southeast Asia for Vulcan Capital, Tommy Teo, remarked that the investment will also “go towards attracting more talent and extending their reach across the region.”

Empowering enterprises to get ahead of attackers

Benjamin Harris, CEO, watchTowr, described the benefits of the platform: “Our technology gives organizations visibility of how they could be compromised, in real-time. Traditional assurance approaches, like penetration testing, are no longer effective or rapid enough to keep organizations secure. By continuously incorporating the latest attacker tactics and techniques into the watchTowr Platform, CISOs can understand their susceptibility to emerging vulnerabilities and threats in hours, rather than weeks or months.”

Over the last 10 years, organizational attack surfaces have ballooned to include outsourced technology, shadow IT, cloud environments, and supply chain risks, to the point where most organizations have simply lost track of their attack surface.

“When one combines the ballooned attack surface with the ineffective and incomplete security testing approaches that are still utilised today, organisations are not able to protect themselves adequately, especially when we consider the rapid and aggressive speed of change in cyber security. Attackers know this,” Harris says.

Since November 2021, watchTowr has identified high-impact and critical weaknesses across organizations at scale, before attackers could exploit them. watchTowr has demonstrated that rapid reaction to emerging vulnerabilities within hours —across vast attack surfaces—is possible, enabling organizations to get ahead of attackers and prevent breaches. When vulnerabilities like the famed Log4Shell go from discovery to Internet-wide attacks within a matter of hours, empowering organizations to defend themselves ahead of this indiscriminate exploitation is incredibly powerful.

To fuel and underpin this capability, watchTowr’s technology builds a real-time view of what an organization’s attack surface looks like to an attacker, typically empowering CISOs with a 300 to 400 percent increase in attack surface visibility. “As the old adage goes: ‘you can’t protect what you don’t know about’,” Harris concluded.

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