CYNTEGRA: FAST, LOCAL, AND COMPLETE RECOVERY FROM RANSOMWARE AND MAJOR CYBER ATTACKS.

Cyntegra

THE CHALLENGE

Organisations and critical national infrastructure are being subjected to cyber attacks – including ransomware attacks and attacks designed to cause disruption or reputational damage. But if criminals do get hold of a system, the question is how quickly – and completely – you can recover.

Cyntegra doesn’t think backups are enough. Criminals can also encrypt or corrupt backups if they’re stored in the cloud or on the network. Plus if you’re locked out of your system, you can’t access them anyway.

THE SOLUTION

Cyntegra has a patented solution that helps organisations recover from ransomware or other cyber attacks – including attacks that corrupt the operating system, encrypt data and lock devices. The aim is to restore devices and return users to full operations in minutes or hours rather than days, weeks or even months.

The startup makes sure there’s always an uncorrupted version of the operating system, applications, configuration files and user data available locally. Its patented recovery technology enables the device to be restored locally by an end user without having to involve IT support or replacement equipment.

The solution can be integrated directly into a system or device at the bios and firmware level. But if a laptop or other device doesn’t have enough storage or installing system software is a problem, the company’s Cydecar product provides an instant, low-cost and off-device recovery solution.

It can then lock and unlock that part of the hard drive. Around 3,000 lines of code sits in the stack below the operating system and just above the firmware. It comes into effect before Windows starts and uses the encryption keys to unlock part of the hard drive, makes a copy of the full system and then locks that area of the disk again – making it unreadable to the attackers. In the future, the startup wants to be compatible with other operating systems.

Cyntegra’s current laptop and desktop product is based on a patented solution and it has a second patent pending approval. It believes its solution will be particularly valuable to critical national infrastructure and IoT devices like autonomous vehicles and industrial drones. 

“If ransomware overtakes the operating system, it can completely wipe out Windows and not let you do anything. But all you’ve got to do is turn off and turn back on again, and you’re back. It’s a really simple idea but sometimes simplicity is most effective.”

– Giles Watkins, Executive Chairman, Cyntegra

WHY NCSC FOR STARTUPS?

The company is pre-revenue and is finalising its minimum viable product. It joined NCSC For Startups to access independent experts who can review and provide feedback on its technology as it tailors it to the needs of the market.

Similarly, it would like to find partners who would be willing to pilot the solution and provide early feedback.

The startup is also planning for commercial success. As well as finding corporate clients, Cyntegra believes that critical national infrastructure, which can be subject to ransomware attacks by nation states or criminal gangs, could benefit from its capability. It hopes being part of the programme will open doors to potential customers and partners who share the NCSC’s mission of making the UK the safest place to live and work online. It’s looking for investment to fund its next growth phase, which will focus on commercialisation and finding talent with highly technical coding and testing skills to get the solution market-ready.