Former NSA analysts Jay Kaplan and Mark Kuhr have raised $21.25 million in new funding for their company, Synack — a sort of "good-hackers-as-a-service." The Silicon Valley startup's twist is that it hires vetted security researchers (currently from 46 countries), and then pays them to poke holes through its customers' networks — holes that could otherwise be found by bad actors. Kaplan tells Axios why that works:

You can't really beat a Russian hacker unless you have a Russian hacker on your side.

Why it matters: Synack is catching the eye of major enterprises like Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Singtel, all of which are now investors. Synack will be able to lean on these companies' sales organizations, Kaplan says, adding that they could aid in international growth efforts.

Deal details: Microsoft Ventures led the funding round, with additional participation from HPE, Singtel Innov8, and existing investors like GGV Capital, GV (formerly Google Ventures), and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. A rep from Microsoft Ventures will join the board, as will Proofpoint CEO Gary Steele. Synack has now raised more than $55 million in total funding.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 20,755,406 — Total deaths: 752,225— Total recoveries: 12,917,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 5,246,760 — Total deaths: 167,052 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.