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12 hot security start-ups to watch

Ellen Messmer | Nov. 14, 2013
Going into 2014, a whirlwind of security start-ups are looking to have an impact on the enterprise world. Here's our slate of security start-ups worth watching in the near future

Skycure  is all about mobile-device security, with its initial focus on Apple iOS iPhones and iPads. It recently introduced what's described as an intrusion-detection and prevention package for mobile devices, which Skycure's co-founder and CTO Yair Amit says relies on the Skycure cloud service for security purposes. He says the goal is to prevent and mitigate any impact from attackers exploiting configuration profiles on mobile devices. Skycure, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, was co-founded by CEO Adi Sharabani and the company has received about $3 million in venture-capital funding from Pitango Venture Capital and angel investors.

Synack was founded by two former National Security Agency (NSA) computer network operations analysts, CEO Jay Kaplan and CTO Mark Kuhr. According to them, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based start-up is bringing together security experts with expertise in finding zero-day bugs in software, particularly in websites and applications of Synack customers. "We pay researchers for vulnerabilities found," explained Kaplan last August as Synack officially debuted. He says bug bounty rates typically run a minimum of $500 to several thousand for serious vulnerabilities in databases, for example. Synack says it has cultivated relationships with several bug hunters around the world, including at the NSA, who would be available to take on specific assignments. Synack  has received $1.5 million in venture-capital funding from a combination of investors that  include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Greylock Partners, Wing Venture Partners, Allegis Capital and Derek Smith, CEO of start-up Shape Security.

Threat Stack, founded by CEO Dustin Webber with Jennifer Andre, wants to give enterprises a way to know if hackers are breaking into Linux-based servers that they may use in their cloud services. To monitor for hacker activity, the start-up's Cloud Sight agent software for Linux needs to be installed on the Linux server under administrative control in the cloud environment, says Webber. "We look for the behavior of the hacker," he points out, noting the enterprise will get an alert if a hacker break-in is underway and a measure of forensics about incidents can be obtained if needed. Cloud Sight could also be potentially used by cloud service providers as well but the initial focus is on monitoring for the enterprise, he says. Threat Stack, founded in Cambridge, Mass., in 2012, has obtained $1.2 million in funding from Atlas Venture and .406 Ventures. The start-up is yet another example of why there's new energy directed toward finding ways to provide visibility, monitoring and security for businesses adopting cloud services.

 

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