Cybersecurity firm Orca Security Ltd. has received $20.5 million in venture capital investment to build out its team and market its platform.

The company sells a software-as-a-service product designed to help businesses secure their cloud systems.

Orca was launched last year and took on its first paying client in August. Today, according to the company, it has nearly two dozen customers including several Fortune 500 companies.

Orca does not have fixed offices, and its team of 37 is spread across the United States and Israel. The company’s chief executive and co-founder, Avi Shua, is based in Los Angeles.

Shua compares his product to advances in medical technology to illustrate the platform’s somewhat complex technical edge.

“Think of a medical diagnostic before the age of the MRI,” he said. “The doctor might poke and feel around, ask questions, stick in a needle to take a sample. It’s painful, takes a lot of time and is not always effective.”

When MRI technology was developed, it allowed doctors to view images of patients’ anatomy, gaining a clearer and more direct understanding of potential issues.

Shua said this advancement is analogous to Orca’s technology, which provides a company with a view into its entire organization’s cloud environment.

This imaging is done without the need to install “security agents,” which can be costly and slow to implement. According to Shua, one Orca client’s cybersecurity team recently estimated that they could have the platform live in two weeks, compared to 10 months for them to implement comparable alternatives.

In the current pandemic environment, this speed has become crucial.

Shutdowns have forced nearly all nonessential businesses to work remotely. In many cases, companies have needed to rapidly develop remote-working infrastructure and processes from the ground up.

“The shift to the cloud has accelerated,” Shua said. “Older organizations are realizing that if they don’t transform, they won’t be competitive.”

The change has created openings for hackers to exploit weak spots in businesses’ new digital infrastructure. An April joint report by the Department of Homeland Security and the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre cited an uptick in Covid-related cybercrime and increased vulnerabilities due to the “surge in teleworking.”

A white paper by Mimecast Services Ltd., another cybersecurity firm, reported that Mimecast had detected a 35% increase in malware attacks and a 30% increase in impersonation attacks in the first 100 days of the Covid pandemic.

Shua said Orca has sped up hiring in Covid-19’s wake.

“We have already recruited seven or eight people since the crisis started,” he said. “We are basically moving all of our planned hiring for the rest of the year to now.”

Los Angeles will be a key target location for hires to grow Orca’s marketing and product teams, he added.

The company did almost no marketing prior to March, Shua said, relying on word of mouth to grow most of its client base.

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