Last week you may have read in TechCrunch that we invested in an innovative CRQ company called Axio. Read more about our decision here:

 

The back story

Two years ago, Temasek made a bold bet in cybersecurity and created ISTARI. The bet was based on the need to better protect its own portfolio of investments from cybersecurity losses and a strong conviction that current cybersecurity approaches were far from adequate. Thousands of security technology offerings, misalignments between security leaders and company executives, challenges in understanding how to identify the most important areas of cyber risk in the first place and an ever-shifting landscape of cyber insurance coverage. 

Instead of simply dedicating a fund to cybersecurity investments like the rest of the investor landscape, Temasek purposefully created ISTARI with three core components: 1. Advisor; 2. Investor; 3. Educator.

Each of the components is unique in function but combines to solve the cybersecurity market challenges identified by Temasek and empower ISTARI to deliver true cyber resilience to the largest organisations in the world. 

ISTARI is focused on the most critical areas of cybersecurity that organisations around the world must successfully practise achieving true cyber resilience: 

  1. Risk Led Resilience Strategy
  2. Supply Chain
  3. OT Security
  4. Cloud Security
  5. Crisis Preparedness and Response

These themes form the focus of ISTARI’s client advisory approach, the educational and collaboration tracks within the ISTARI Academy programmes, and the direction of our investment funds.

 

The reasons we chose Axio

Risk Led Resilience is where Cyber Risk Quantification (CRQ) becomes critical as it speaks to the overarching and critical starting point of any cybersecurity journey: Understanding the types of risks that matter the most and optimally treating those risks. In practice, this translates to selecting cybersecurity controls to both reduce the likelihood of the most substantial events and minimise the impact should such events occur. And utilising a common cybersecurity language so the C-Suite and Board of Directors can fulfil their fiduciary duty and governance responsibilities and design the right cyber insurance coverage, and more.

ISTARI set out on a months-long journey to identify the best-in-class CRQ platform to join the ISTARI Collective and be the preferred offering to our clients. As part of that journey, we spent time with many CISOs who either have been on the CRQ journey or wanted to start one. We engaged with analysts covering the CRQ market segment. We researched many of the CRQ providers and developed a deep understanding of the landscape of offerings. 

During the process, we began to form a strong conviction about the key criteria for the CRQ bet that ISTARI would make: The platform must provide quick time to value for critical situations when the CEO phones the CISO and asks, “What if the cyber event that hit our competitor happens to us?” The platform must provide easy actionability of insights because the true promise of CRQ rests on making better decisions as to where to focus and what to do. The output must be easily defensible and explainable to empower both cybersecurity budgeting discussions and oversight needs that CFOs, CEOs and Board of Directors have sorely lacked. 

 

At the end of our investment journey, the choice was clear: Axio.  

 

ISTARI led the Series B investment in Axio, and we are proud to welcome Axio into the ISTARI Collective. We’re excited to offer Axio’s best-in-class CRQ capability to all of ISTARI’s clients and work with Axio’s phenomenal leadership team: Bob Dudley, Axio’s Chairman, perhaps the world’s most resilience-minded CEO, based on his stewardship of bp during its most trying decade. Co-Founders Scott Kannry (CEO) and David White (President), whose visionary leadership and accomplishments from their previous careers in insurance and security methodology architecture have enabled Axio with competitive advantages unrivalled in the CRQ landscape. And the rest of the Axio team, whose passion for delivering a truly impactful CRQ solution, gives us incredible confidence in the future of this relationship. 

 

Welcome, Axio, to the ISTARI Collective.