Text: As one of the most crucial issues facing our decentralised digital world, cyber security was the focus for the ninth Swisscom StartUp Challenge. Recent announcements from the tech giants confirming massive increases in IT security budgets underline its importance. The protection and security of infrastructures and solutions are also at the top of Swisscom’s agenda.
By July 2021, over 80 global start-ups and research teams involved in cyber security had applied for Swisscom’s Swiss development programme. During the first round, the panel of judges selected the ten finalists from Germany, Israel and Switzerland. Their solutions are designed to prevent phishing, secure networks, protect IoT devices, automate security testing when coding and enable secure, encrypted communications. They presented their pitches to the expert jury yesterday, Thursday 16 September. Philippe Vuilleumier, Head of Group Security at Swisscom: “I was extremely impressed by the finalists’ expertise and technical solutions.”
In the final, the start-ups not only needed smart ideas and a convincing business model to impress the panel, but also had to demonstrate team spirit and determination. CAOS, Code Intelligence, CYSEC, Grip Security and xorlab all made a particularly positive impression on the panel. Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler, Founder of the Swisscom Startup Challenge and Head of Swisscom Digital Business: “These start-up companies are highly driven and are waging war on cyber criminals. I am delighted that our programme is able to get young entrepreneurs off to a great start and help them unleash their innovative energy in Switzerland.”
The five winners have all won a place on a week-long exploration programme with Swisscom’s cyber security community – an opportunity to put their solutions and business models through their paces and make valuable contacts with mentors, potential partners and customers. And one of the five start-ups will also get to spend a week at the Swisscom Outpost in Silicon Valley.
CAOS: Managing multiple identities within modern IT systems for a single person is expensive, inefficient and often insecure. St. Gallen based start-up CAOS developed a solution for managing identities, providing secure user authentication, and integrating customer use cases on top.
Code Intelligence: Code Intelligence offers a CI/CD-agnostic platform for automated software security testing. The platform helps developers to protect themselves against unexpected edge cases. It empowers them to fix bugs during development and to achieve reproducible testing results. Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Bonn, Code Intelligence supports leading companies such as Bosch, Deutsche Börse and Deutsche Telekom.
CYSEC: CYSEC SA is a Swiss cybersecurity company with its office in the EPLF Innovation Park, Lausanne, and with roughly 25 employees. The company provides the solution ARCA Trusted OS, a software-based solution for protecting containerized platforms, applications and workloads. ARCA protects highly sensitive data and workloads deployed on prem, in the cloud or in embedded platforms. Our ambition is to become the leading European provider of Confidential Computing by 2025.
Grip Security: The Israeli start-up Grip offers a new approach to SaaS security, enabling organizations to discover nearly 100% of the SaaS applications used (known and unknown), govern, monitor and secure employee access and usage from any device and any location, and prevent data loss.
xorlab: xorlab is a Swiss cybersecurity company providing specialized, machine-intelligent defence against highly engineered, sophisticated and targeted e-mail attacks. Founded in 2015 and spun out of ETH’s Laboratory of Software Technology, xorlab has grown to a team of 16 dedicated security professionals and passionate software engineers.
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