Flare Takes Cybersecurity to Every Corner of the Web, Including Dark Ones

The digital transformation of the past two years has delivered plenty of benefits and opportunities for both consumers and businesses. On the flip side, companies have become more vulnerable to cybercrime because of their expanded reliance on the cloud and increasing digital footprints.

Building a comprehensive information security program to counteract this vulnerability requires checking every corner of the web, including the dark ones, for targeted cyber attacks, data leaks, account takeovers, and other information that puts organizations at risk. Montreal-based Flare has already made a name for itself in this relatively recent and booming branch of the industry.

Flare serves big-name customers, who overwhelmingly share positive feedback on its software. The market is still largely untapped, and the executive team has both the expertise and the determination to execute their ambitious vision. We believe Flare has the potential to become a major player.

We’re pleased to announce that we’re leading a CAD$9.5 million Series A investment round in Flare to fund a rapid expansion,

Watch your digital footprint

Demand for cybersecurity is booming. Paralyzing attacks on large companies and government entities routinely make headlines. Threat levels have gone up in the current geopolitical context, and after investigating disclosed postings on ransomware groups’ websites last year, Flare found that attacks increased 437% between 2020 and 2021.

Traditionally, companies have responded by setting up firewalls, addressing internal vulnerabilities or identifying malicious activity within their network. More recently, businesses have started to realize they must proactively assess potential weaknesses in much broader terms and consider the risks linked to their growing use of digital tools and services (i.e. their digital footprint).

Effectively managing external risk begins with mapping and monitoring a company’s digital footprint. A footprint encompasses the content companies voluntarily share — website or social media accounts, and material that shouldn’t be out there — source code, intellectual property, or credentials. Data leaks and cyberattacks can go unnoticed for months without the right tools and personnel until they become ammunition.

Digging into the dark web

Flare developed a tool to identify these threats before they develop into full-blown crises. Its software scans the public web, the deep web (where passwords protect information), and the dark web, which has served as a relatively anonymous marketplace for criminals.

For example, when companies are alerted that some of their user credentials are up for sale, they can quickly move to mitigate the damage and prevent a more significant breach. Flare’s technology prioritizes findings, giving clients an up-to-date and relevant list of vulnerabilities they can act on, minimizing alert fatigue.

That’s a relief for corporate security teams, who until now often had to use disparate tools with weaker results and struggle to make sense of the findings. The ease of use, the cost, and the breadth of Flare’s coverage have turned its customers into enthusiastic advocates for its product.

A vast untapped market

This development is excellent news for midsize companies. They share the same worries as their larger peers but have smaller budgets and security teams. Many are only starting to invest in digital footprint tracking, offering Flare plenty of room to grow. A recent study puts the global digital risk protection market on track to reach US$5.7 billion by 2026.

This vibrant new field is generating a lot of interest, and the combined skills of Flare’s leadership team are distinguishing the company from the rest of the pack. Last July, CEO Norman Menz joined the company and is a seasoned cybersecurity executive and entrepreneur with experience scaling businesses. Co-founders Mathieu Lavoie, Yohan Trepanier, and Israël Halle bring first-class technical and product expertise to the mix.

Flare caught our attention in 2019 when we made a small investment to support its development. Three years later, we’re doubling down. With its talent and its track record, the company is on its way to building a must-have cybersecurity platform.