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Eye Security Raises $39 Million Led by JPMorgan as EU Ransomware Attacks Jump

Dutch cybersecurity firm Eye Security has reportedly raised $39 million to expand throughout Europe.

The company’s funding round was led by JPMorgan Chase’s growth investment arm, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Sunday (March 10), noting that the financing is happening amid a jump in ransomware attacks.

The report, citing information from the European Digital SME Alliance, said that such attacks increased every month of 2023 compared to the year before. For example, June 2023 saw 495 ransomware attacks, more than twice the 187 recorded for June 2022.

According to the report, regulators in Europe have tried to combat this trend by strengthening rules to encourage businesses to beef up their cybersecurity systems, including updating the Europe’s Network and Information Security Directive, or NIS.

“There is a confluence of events around some of the regulatory changes and specifically the NIS2 Directive that puts a lot more accountability on companies,” Christopher Dawe, a managing partner at J.P. Morgan Growth Equity Partners, told WSJ. “And so with that as a backdrop, we think it’s a really interesting time to invest in this space.”

Job Kuijpers, Eye’s chief executive, noted that 20% of the companies that become Eye clients had already been victims of ransomware.

“There are not enough security experts to have hands on at the hundreds of thousands of companies that we have here in Europe,” Kuijpers said. “So you need a different model, and that’s a model that we’re offering.”

As noted here in February, data from Chainalysis shows that ransomware payments surpassed $1 billion in 2023, a record peak following a decline the previous year.

The study also noted that while payment volumes fell in 2022, the overall trend from 2019 to 2023 indicates that ransomware remains a growing concern.

As Hanah-Marie Darley, head of threat research at the U.K.-based cybersecurity firm Darktrace, said in an interview with PYMNTS last year, “We are unlikely to see ransomware go away anytime soon and attackers will pivot to new methods of financial gain.”

In addition, its impact is felt across all sectors. PYMNTS recently wrote that “at least” 60 credit unions (CUs) were rendered inoperable by ransomware attacks toward the end of 2023, leading to a major disruption that kept about 100,000 CU members from accessing their digital accounts for three weeks starting in late November.