• Tracebit has developed a cloud-based threat deception platform that allows companies to create “canaries,” or fake “honeypots,” to lure hackers into revealing themselves.
  • Tracebit seeks to transform the industry with its specialized platform for scaling threat deception.

U.K.-based “threat deception” startup Tracebit Ltd. has secured USD 5 million in seed funding to facilitate the widespread adoption of a cybersecurity technique previously reserved for the top 1% of security teams.

The recent funding round was led by Accel and included contributions from Tapestry VC, 20Sales, and angel investors such as Guy Podjarny, Founder of Snyk Ltd.; Tim Sadler and Ed Bishop, Co-founders of Tessian Ltd.; and Mandy Andress, Chief Technology Officer of Elastic N.V.

Tracebit has developed a cloud-based threat deception platform that allows companies to set up “canaries,” which are fake “honeypots” designed to lure hackers into revealing themselves. These canaries help security teams detect threats within their systems, understand hacker behaviors, and uncover vulnerabilities in their cyber defenses.

By deploying canaries, security teams can lure malicious actors and catch them in the act. When executed properly, this threat deception technique can be highly effective. Tracebit highlights research indicating that cyberattacks become significantly less effective and progress more slowly when attackers realize that canaries are present in a compromised system.

While canaries are effective, they have traditionally been expensive and complex to implement, limiting the use of threat deception techniques to a select few top-tier enterprises that can allocate significant resources to such initiatives. Scaling threat deception across cloud infrastructures is typically impractical, as it demands meticulous design, setup, and maintenance.

Tracebit aims to change this with its dedicated platform for scaling threat deception, enabling thousands of companies to adopt these methods.

The platform is the industry’s first to utilize cloud-native application programming interfaces to create both ready-made and customized canaries, which can be deployed across multiple cloud networks to attract various types of threats. Built with what Tracebit calls a “light-touch” infrastructure, it allows companies to set up and activate threat deception across cloud networks in as little as 30 minutes without the need for dedicated hardware.

Since its launch earlier this year, the startup’s platform has expanded to protect over 250 cloud accounts, with more than 1,500 cloud canary resources deployed. It processes more than 2.4 billion security events each week.

Chris Hymes, Chief Information Security Officer at early adopter Riot Games Inc., stated that his company was among the first to utilize Tracebit’s platform to scale deceptive coverage across its cloud computing environments. “The automated platform has enabled us to roll out rapidly and the precise nature of its detections produces low volume, high-value alerts,” he said.

Tracebit was co-founded last year by CEO Andy Smith and CTO Sam Cox, who previously worked together for five years at the U.K. cybersecurity company Tessian, departing shortly before its acquisition by Proofpoint.

Smith expressed that Tracebit’s mission is to facilitate the widespread adoption of threat deception techniques throughout enterprises. By achieving this goal, the company aims to significantly decrease the mean time it takes for companies to detect intruders in their systems from months to mere minutes.

“Honeypots are one of the biggest deterrents to cyber attacks, but have been underused for too long due to their cost and complexity. This funding will help us bring threat deception to enterprises that haven’t felt able to leverage it before,” Smith said.

The company stated that it will utilize the funds from the current round to bolster product development efforts and to grow its engineering team.

Andrei Brasoveanu, a partner at Accel, mentioned that he first encountered Smith and Cox during their tenure at Tessian, a company also backed by his firm. “I knew first hand that they’re not only experienced technologists, but they also have strong commercial instincts. Tracebit’s cloud-native approach to threat deception and its focus on modern DevOps tools and practices has already gained impressive early traction with customers,” he said.