Ann Arbor-based Censys raises $15.5 million; develops scan engine that sees 44% more of the internet

Cybersecurity company develops next-generation risk remediation engine

Censys employees. (Censys)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Ann Arbor-based Censys announced that it raised $15.5 million in its latest round of funding and has developed a new platform that scans 44% more of the Internet than its competitors. 

The engine works by quickly finding security vulnerabilities in a company’s online assets. This lets companies make risk assessments and Censys recommends remediation so companies can protect themselves from security breaches.

Censys CEO and co-founder David Corcoran said that Censys aims to make security issues more visible for its clients.  He said that Censys has been researching based on its experiences since 2012. It started to build infrastructure for the new platform two years ago.

“We basically just took lots of that experience -- eight years of experience -- with researching what does the internet look like, what shape does it have, how is cloud changing the internet and how are these services and software-defined infrastructure changing the internet,” said Corcoran. 

While Censys’ open-source ZMap Scanner also looks for vulnerabilities, Corcoran said that the new platform is twice as fast, on top of its increased capacity to see 44% more of the Internet. 

“We spent quite a bit of time and put a lot of energy into building this because what we realized, and you see this over and over again with companies, that they really lack the ability to know what they have on the internet,” said Corcoran, adding the platform increases the visibility of risks for companies, which could help prevent major security breaches in internet-facing assets.

He said the new platform automatically figures out what a company owns and what risks it possesses. It can find 20-300% more of vulnerabilities, allowing for continuous visibility and real-time risk-assessment.

“You can’t secure what you don’t know and visibility is the first step. This new platform really aims to uncover all of those things that an organization has, that produce risk for it, that are kind of living out there in the shadows,” said Corcoran, adding that Censys helps to facilitate security procedures and protocols.

“Our goal as a company is to keep building the technology so that we’re getting as close to instantaneous knowledge as possible,” said Corcoran, stating that there is a delay between when a security breach happens and when companies find out about it.

The platform also lets Censys conduct research on the security state of different industries, including healthcare and automotive.

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A look at what the platform's dashboard looks like. (Censys)

The $15.5 million in funding, co-led by GV and Decibel and includes participation from Greylock Partners, will go towards more development and adding personnel to Censys. The company is looking to fill leadership roles as well as engineers, individuals with backgrounds in cybersecurity, networking, threat intelligence, sales and product marketing, according to Corcoran. It will try to double its 50-employee workforce to almost 100 within the next year.

Based in Ann Arbor, Censys has personnel working in Ontario, Indiana and other locations; however, employees aren’t necessarily location-bound.

Corcoran said that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Censys to become a remote workforce culture, which has changed the landscape of where employees work.

Despite this, he added that Censys knows face-to-face interaction is important for its employees so it has brought them together for socially distanced experiences. He said that the pandemic has shown how resilient communities are.

Having employees working remotely is also a security concern for clients so the cybersecurity company has extended its services to cover home network security as well.

Check the security of your own home network through Censys’ risk identification tool or learn more about Censys at

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.