DNSFilter acquires iOS firewall app Guardian to expand its web-based threat detection technology – TechCrunch

ByLance T. Lee

Aug 10, 2022

DNSFilter, a Washington, DC-based web content filtering and threat protection provider, announced the acquisition of Guardian, a privacy firewall for iOS. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Guardian was founded in 2013 by Will Strafach, a security researcher and former iPhone jailbreaker who discovered in 2017 that AccuWeather was secretly sending precise location data to a third-party company without the user’s permission. The company’s “smart firewall” iPhone app prevents apps from sharing users’ personal information with third parties, such as IP addresses and location data, by funneling the data through a virtual private network (VPN) crypt. The startup, which claims to have so far blocked more than 5 billion data trackers and 1 billion location trackers, recently partnered with Brave to integrate its firewall and VPN features into its eponymous browser without followed.

In a statement announcing its acquisition of Guardian, DNSFilter said the startup’s technology, coupled with its DNS layer security, will help disrupt the secure web gateway (or SWG) market, which relies on static signatures and lists. threat streams that rarely identify variations or new attack vectors. Guardian will equip DNSFilter with full web addresses and IP addresses, file types, port filtering, and VPN capabilities, enabling “the filtering of new layers of Internet traffic for customers beyond DNS.”

DNSFilter co-founder and CEO Ken Carnesi said that while secure web gateways play a “critical role” in modern cybersecurity strategies, combining DNS layer security with a firewall and VPN combo”presents a huge business opportunity and alleviates the issues that customers are facing with legacy SWG technology.

Guardian will remain a standalone application, while DNSFilter’s predictive DNS protection will further assist Guardian users.

DNSFilter, founded in 2015 to protect users against threats such as cryptojacking and ransomware, currently has more than 15,000 customers, including Nvidia, Lenovo and the LA Metro. Last year the company secured $30 million in Series A funding from Insight Partners. Guardian is the company’s latest acquisition. In 2018, DNSFilter acquired Web Shrinker, a startup that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze and identify threats and domains in real time.


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