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A Palo Alto, CA-based firm called Armis, which launched Tuesday, is focusing on increasing visibility and cutting issues introduced by Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

There are 8.4 billion connected things in use worldwide this year, which will number 20.4 billion by 2020, according to Gartner. This fast growing, dynamic ecosystem of everything from smartphones to webcams and keyboards presents a complex security challenge. In early deployments Armis has shown businesses are unaware of 40 percent of the devices in their environment. They have limited visibility into which devices are accessing their networks, which exposes them to botnet attacks, network breaches, ransomware, and data loss.

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Armis wants to address this problem with an agentless IoT security platform that allows enterprises to see and control all the devices and networks used to access their systems.

Founded in late 2015, Armis emerged from stealth with $17 million in funding from Sequoia Capital and Tenaya Capital. Other investors include Zohar Zisapel, founder and chairman of RAD Technologies, René Bonvanie, CMO of Palo Alto Networks, and Mickey Boodaei, founder of Imperva and Trusteer.

Cyber Security

Armis has its roots in Israel, where its founders, CEO Yevgeny Dibrov and CTO Nadir Izrael, served in Unit 8200 of the Israeli Defense Forces. Dibrov was on the executive team at Adallom, a cloud security startup acquired by Microsoft in 2015. Armis is headquartered in Palo Alto, but also has an office in Tel Aviv.

“Enterprise security has a huge blind spot,” Dibrov said. “The recent botnet attacks like Mirai, Hajime, and Persirai show how new IoT devices are being exploited and attacked. The fact is you cannot put an agent on most of the devices in an organization today, which means we need a new approach.”

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