When Mike and I left the U.S. Army to start Shift5, we had a vision for protecting the world’s trillions of dollars in fleet assets from cyberattack. We left the military after helping to expose devastating vulnerabilities in military fleet assets, as founding members of U.S. Army Cyber Command who oversaw a number of cyber organizations across the DoD and Army, including Cyber Mission Force. With more than two decades in the trenches and at the highest levels of decision making, we knew firsthand that the cybersecurity solutions available to commercial and military fleets were lacking, which constituted a serious national security threat. Today, I’m proud to announce Shift5’s $20M Series A financing led by 645 Ventures, with continued participation by Squadra, General Advance, and First In. 

Our Series A funding represents a recognition that cyber-physical attacks against fleets are the next cybersecurity frontier. We’re now in an era where such intrusions are affecting our daily lives. Just this year, people were unable to pump gas. We were legitimately concerned about food security. New Yorkers couldn’t rely on public transportation. We are thinking twice about the water coming out of our taps. Ship operators can’t trust their sensor data. For the military, these kinds of attacks are not theoretical. The U.S. government is working to address these evolving needs meaningfully — by taking steps to modernize national cyber defenses and working to approve record budgets to better secure national infrastructure. 

At Shift5, our mission is to defend the world’s fleets from cyberattack. The world is teeming with vehicle fleets: platforms like automobiles, ships, aircraft, military weapon systems, and satellites. But fleet owners are locked out of the data they need to inspect their own systems for potential safety or security risks. Platform manufacturers designed their systems with digital components, but never designed for the digital age. Very few platforms expose granular, real-time, interpretable, streaming data. And virtually no platforms are resilient against cyberattack. Further, many OEMs have locked their customers out of their data with opaque and proprietary protocols. 

How Shift5 Defends Fleet Infrastructure

Even though fleet cyber defense is a hard problem, the Shift5 team is especially suited to service this market. Engineering solutions on these platforms requires a unique set of skills that’s difficult to obtain outside of highly selective industry and government experience. Our founding team has deep cybersecurity experience both at the National Security Agency and spearheading the Department of Defense’s weapon system reverse engineering and cyber vulnerability assessments. Today, we feel very strongly about an important truth: the single most important security control measure for fleet assets is intrusion detection. 

In 2019, we took that vision to investors and raised a Series Seed led by Squadra Ventures with participation from General Advance, First In, and a group of angel investors. We quickly accumulated important contract wins and demonstrated how our approach greatly improves the cybersecurity of our military fleet assets and passenger locomotive fleets.

We unlock data from vehicle platforms to help fleet operators run smarter, safer, and with less risk from cyberattack. Shift5’s solution collects, analyzes, enriches, and stores real-time data from our customers’ fleets, and we monitor this data for cybersecurity threats in real time. Our customers can rest assured that their systems are protected at all times, and that they can equip incident responders with full take, enriched data captures so they can effectively remediate issues.

Today, the U.S. military trusts Shift5 to secure their most critical weapon systems against cyberattack, including land combat vehicles and special operations aircraft. Additionally, Shift5 is deployed from coast-to-coast on passenger rail systems. 

What’s Next

I’m beyond proud of everything that my Shift5 teammates have accomplished so far–but we have a long way to go. There is an enormous number of unprotected and vulnerable fleet assets around the world operated by businesses and governments. These assets move people and goods across the planet and underpin modern society. Aided by this fresh injection of capital and our new partners at 645, we are answering the call to protect the world’s fleets–and perhaps make them a little smarter along the way. We’re doing this in three specific ways:

  1. We’re hiring. With trillions of dollars in vulnerable fleet assets, the world needs what we’re building. We need more brilliant, talented folks to help us solve this huge problem.

  2. We’re making significant investments in core infrastructure that support expansion into defense, aerospace, and rail. This means expanding our DC office, additional secured facilities, and hardware labs.

  3. We’re investing in education. Educating the world’s fleet operators, regulators, and legislators on the risks inherent in our world’s critical infrastructure, the challenges our digitized fleet infrastructure presents, and the opportunities we have to capitalize on an unprecedented flow of data and insights waiting to be harvested.

Join the team

Shift5 is growing in leaps and bounds, and we have a big challenge ahead of us. As we assessed the extent of the problem we’re solving and the viability of our approach, we’ve attracted world-class talent from wildly successful startups. Our ranks have swelled to just over 50 people. This Series A round of funding positions us to add the best in the business to our passionate team, across all departments including engineering, developer relations, sales, and marketing.

We offer challenging work, top-of-market compensation plans, and inclusive, talented co-workers. We trust our employees don’t need micromanaging, rather that they need environments and opportunities that allow them to thrive and grow. Our senior leadership believes that creating a people-centric and inclusive environment will ensure highly engaged employees and drive business results.

If you find alignment with our mission and want to join the team at the bleeding edge of securing transportation infrastructure, please check out our open roles, or DM me on LinkedIn.

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