Press Release: Interos Raises $100 Million to Protect Supply Chains from Disruption

NightDragon leads the round, which values Interos at more than $1 billion, making it one of the few female-led unicorns

ARLINGTON, Va., July 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Interos, the supply chain risk management and operational resilience technology company, today announced Series C financing of $100 million led by NightDragon. Current investors, including Kleiner Perkins and Venrock, are also participating. This financing brings Interos’ valuation to over $1 billion, and establishes the company as a unicorn.

Female-led Unicorns Are Extremely Rare

Interos, led by CEO Jennifer Bisceglie, becomes one of the few female-led unicorns. According to Crunchbase, “Female founder-CEOs run only 4% of the ‘unicorn’ startups valued at more than $1 billion. Which means that, proportionally, these successful venture-backed female founders are even more rare than female Fortune 500 CEOs, who currently run 7.4% of the country’s largest companies.”

Global Supply Chain Severely Strained Impacting Both Businesses and Consumers

The new funding will help Interos accelerate its business at a time when supply chain vulnerabilities are front and center for companies around the world, following major supply chain shortages due to the pandemic and cyberattacks on organizations like SolarWinds, Kaseya and Colonial Pipeline that put company operations at risk. A severely strained global supply chain is translating to consumers as countless product shortages and to businesses as heavy bottom line and reputational impacts. The Interos Annual Global Supply Chain Report recently revealed that supply chain disruptions cost large companies, on average, $184 million a year, and 83% have suffered reputational damage.

Interos Protects Global Supply Chains from Disruption

An early warning system to identify developing disruptions and supplier problems in real-time is critical to driving business operational resilience, macro economic growth, public safety and national security. Numerous Fortune 500 brands, the U.S. Department of Defense, and NASA are using Interos’ artificial intelligence and machine learning-based cloud platform, which serves as this early warning system. The platform allows customers to instantly map their global supply chains to the Nth tier, continuously monitor those suppliers, flag supplier problems in real-time, and model ripple effects so problems can be quickly resolved before disruption occurs.

Interos Proactively Reveals Physical, Cyber and ESG-Related Supply Chain Risks

The recently updated Interos platform monitors for both physical and digital supply chain issues across  dozens of risk categories, including financial, operational, governance, geographic, and cyber factors. The platform also monitors ESG-related risk factors, such as unethical labor practices and greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. SEC is developing new ESG reporting requirements for public companies, but this type of risk is currently a major, but unnecessary, blind spot for organizations.

Supply Chain Risk Now a Board Imperative

Global supply chain risk has become a board-level imperative with 78% of respondents to the Interos survey reporting their boards now confer on this topic at least once per month. While 39% say supply chain risk is their business’ current top priority, 50% say it will be in two years.

“COVID-19 and other macro and digital supply chain disruptions over the past year have caused boards of directors and other leaders to awaken to the tremendous impact supply chain disruptions can have on operational resilience, business performance and reputation,” said Jennifer Bisceglie, CEO of Interos. “Manual and annual supply chain risk monitoring is urgently moving to automated and continuous, and that can only be accomplished through AI/ML-based technology. This funding will allow us to accelerate our mission of helping organizations fix supply chain issues before they cause operational disruption.”

Interos Experiencing Explosive Growth

Interos has logged a compound annual growth rate of 303% in the last two years. It notched a 104% increase in its annual recurring revenue in 2020 over the previous year and recorded 132% growth in the number of employees over the same period.

“Over the past year, we have seen that supply chain risk represents one of the biggest gaps for cybersecurity and business resiliency in history,” said Dave DeWalt, Founder and Managing Director, NightDragon. “We are proud to partner with Interos to accelerate their business and help companies around the world close the gap when it comes to supply chain risk.”

About Interos

Interos is the operational resilience company — reinventing how companies manage their supply chains and business relationships — through our breakthrough SaaS platform that uses artificial intelligence to model and transform the ecosystems of complex businesses into a living global map, down to any single supplier, anywhere. Reducing months of backward-looking manual spreadsheet inputs to instant visualizations and continuous monitoring, the Interos Operational Resilience Cloud helps organizations reduce risk, avoid disruptions, and achieve superior enterprise adaptability. Businesses can also uncover game-changing opportunities to radically change the way they see, learn and profit from their relationships. Based in Washington, DC, Interos serves global clients with business-critical, independent relationships across their primary operational areas: supply chain, financial, cybersecurity, regulatory and ESG compliance, and geographical. The fast-growing private company is led by CEO Jennifer Bisceglie and supported by investors Venrock and Kleiner Perkins. For more information, visit www.interos.ai.

About NightDragon

NightDragon is an investment and advisory firm focused on growth and late-stage investments within the cybersecurity, safety, security and privacy industries. Its platform and vast industry network provide unparalleled threat insights, deal flow, market leverage and operating expertise to drive portfolio company growth and increase shareholder value. The NightDragon team has more than 25 years of operational and market expertise and was founded by Dave DeWalt and Ken Gonzalez, who served as senior executives leading technology companies such as Documentum, EMC, Siebel Systems (Oracle), McAfee, Mandiant, Avast and FireEye. For more information, visit www.nightdragon.com.

The Big Takeaway from the Kaseya Supply Chain/Ransomware Cyberattack

This month, the world of enterprise security was badly shaken, as the Russia-based cybercriminal syndicate REvil launched yet another high-profile ransomware attack. The hackers, responsible for the recent attack on JBS Foods, infiltrated Kaseya VSA, an endpoint protection software solution used by large Managed Service Providers (MSPs). Through the software supply chain, REvil was able to quickly spread to at least 50 of Kaseya’s direct customers, with somewhere between 800 and 1500 small-to-medium sized businesses further down the supply chain.

This is not the first such attack, though it is REvil’s most ambitious (and successful) to date. Over the past year, we’ve endured SolarWinds, Colonial Pipeline, JBS Foods, and now Kaseya. This seemingly endless litany of supply chain-centric cyberattacks grows every week. As it does, companies and governments are simultaneously dealing with a host of other disruptions like COVID, the Suez Canal blockage, Brexit, international trade disputes, and more.

While these cyberattacks and global disruptors may appear dissimilar, having wildly varying causes and impacts, there is strategic value in considering them – and the supply chains they spread across – as a collective. Together, they represent a rapid learning opportunity for both adversaries and defenders – an open-source global weapons development program. The adversaries – hostile nation states and cyber criminals – are already studying these elements for future tweaks toward enhanced weaponization. So should we.

What have they Learned?

Every supply chain disruption – be it a successful hack, a natural disaster, or an international political dispute – increases the information adversaries and defenders have on the effectiveness of techniques, viability of targets, and the favorability of global circumstances. All of which can be mixed and matched, refined over time to discover not just the ideal avenue for an attack, but the optimal conditions of the greater supply chain and business ecosystem under which to conduct one.

Major Revil and DarkSide Ransomware Attacks
Major Revil and DarkSide Ransomware Attacks

What everyone is learning is that the battlefield we’re on is considerably larger than previously imagined. We’re used to thinking about the enterprise as a collection of endpoints that need securing. The effectiveness of these supply chain shocks shows that our enterprises are also individual nodes of a much bigger macro-network. It’s a battlefield so large that drawing up a strategic defense using conventional tools and tactics won’t work. To do so effectively, we need to learn about this broader playing field in all of its dimensions – from enterprise networks to transportation/logistics tools to environmental and labor concerns.

Understanding the interplay between these elements is crucial. In addition to the direct damage done to Kaseya, this latest attack shut down 800 supermarket locations that could no longer operate their checkout software, interrupted Swedish rail service, and disrupted the operations of a Swedish pharmacy chain. A more holistic understanding of the possible knock-on effects of a cyberattack could have enabled defenders to better prepare for the situation or, at the very least, understand the level of digital concentration risk posed by having so many critical systems in one country connected to a single application.

Attacks like the recent strike on Kaseya have upended how we think about crime. Conventionally, attackers strike on a single target, and receive payment from that target. Today, attackers are essentially able to, using the supply chain, probe endlessly for small fissures in our digital armor, and strike many victims simultaneously, while collecting untraceable ransoms in an endless variety of cryptocurrencies.

Nested Networks

This is a problem of networks within networks. Consider the ongoing supply chain disruption facing the semiconductor industry. On the surface it’s a simple matter of demand exceeding supply. But when you examine it from a more holistic, networks-within-networks perspective, it becomes infinitely more complex.

An expected, COVID-driven dip in automotive sales led to a reallocation in silicon production resources. When that dip failed to materialize at the same time as a spike in consumer electronics purchasing, combined with a litany of natural disasters affecting production: the great silicon squeeze was on. This representation is, of course, still greatly simplified from the reality of the situation, which involves thousands of companies, millions of workers, and impacts practically every person on this planet.

With a holistic understanding of multi-factor supply chain risk — how the non-obvious connections and dependencies were poised to amplify this shortage — we could have limited the impact, or strategically allocated resources. This problem of understanding exposure and how the supply chain can magnify small disruptions into massive ones, lies at the heart of the ransomware challenge as well. If we are to have a hope of preventing supply chain-based cyberattacks, understanding their potential impact, and mitigating the proliferated “fan-out” damage when they occur, we need to understand the entire picture.

The Supply Chain Challenge

Kaseya is, in many ways, a microcosm of the entire problem. MSPs relay on the convenience of tools like Kaseya VSA to easily connect and deploy software across complex ecosystems. This interconnectivity creates convenience but also magnifies the potential impact of a single attack. This is also true of the broader global supply chain, where the closeness created by globalization similarly magnifies the potential impact of any one supply chain disruption.

Both of these problems, the security concern and the greater, global supply chain problem, reflect the same fundamental security challenge (as described in Matt Tait’s excellent blog on the attack): defending a network or system with countless endpoints on the edge requires centralization of defensive resources; but that centralization inherently creates ideal attack points that, when compromised, immediately create massive risk to the entire system.

What’s more, both the Kesaya and SolarWinds attacks, though hugely impactful to a handful of customers and industries, are almost insignificant when compared to the potential impact of a similar compromise to one of the truly universal software providers. Imagine the situation if Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, or Google were similarly compromised. These organizations regularly push updates that affect the virtual entirety of consumer and enterprise computing resources on the planet. Their respective cybersecurity measures are obviously among the most stringent on the planet, certainly for the private sector — but still the point is made.

To have a hope of blunting the inevitable impact of such a potentially devastating attack, security leaders, company C-suite leadership, and governments need to stop looking at the problem in isolation and begin considering the broader context. We must implement comprehensive, multi-tier, multi-factor, continuous risk monitoring across the entire supply chain if we are to understand how and where we are most vulnerable, and where to concentrate defensive resources. The goal is not only to survive these constant attacks, but to thrive in spite of them.