Belgians pump 400 thousand euros into TU/e student startup BitSensor

Belgian investors have put 400 thousand euros into the Eindhoven startup BitSensor. This cyber security company, set up by TU/e students Ruben van Vreeland and Alex Dings, provides companies with pretty much real-time insight into the security of their data. With the investment from Belgium, the pair are keen to expand their business, which currently employs four.


Van Vreeland, who last year quit his Web Science program, says he reads almost daily about cyber attacks “that our software could have prevented. Think of the attacks from Russia, the Yahoo breach involving half a billion leaked passwords, or the hacking of the toy manufacturer VTech when very many children's photographs were stolen.” The accessibility of sites or banking apps, so necessary to their operation, makes them vulnerable, says BitSensor. And they cannot be protected with conventional solutions like antivirus software or a firewall.

This prompted BitSensor to develop what is known as self-protection technology. Incorporated in the applications themselves, this detects and resists hackers when they make their first attempt to commit a cyber attack, says the company. The developers themselves say this reduces the discovery time of a security breach from months to milliseconds. In addition, the software analyzes the traces left by the breach and generates reports. These state the methods of attack used to steal data, say, or to carry out financial transactions.

According to the Belgian investment company Volta Ventures, the Eindhoven startup offers an entirely new type of solution in the field of security technology. “BitSensor has a unique, simple and rapid solution to help government agencies, healthcare institutions, banks and software developers with their security,” believes Frank Maene of Volta Ventures.

The investors found their way to BitSensor when the startup was not yet seeking direct investment, says Alex Dings. “This gave us plenty of time to get to know each other. In them, we have found a really good partner.” The student of Software Science and Web Science, who has put his studies on hold, describes the conditions of the cooperation as 'supple'. “It's clearly a genuine partnership and Volta believes in us.”

Volta Ventures is the first external party to invest in BitSensor. To date, everything has been funded out of Dings' and Van Vreelands own pockets, “supplemented by small paid assignments and later on early sales of our technology”. He cannot name customers or potentials, “but we are focusing on companies with a small development department.”

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