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Twistlock Lands $2.5M To Help Enterprises Secure Docker Containers

As container technology rises in popularity, Israeli startup Twistlock has raised $2.5 million in seed funding to help secure the technology as it pushes into the enterprise market.

As container technology rises in popularity, Israeli startup Twistlock is working to secure that technology as it pushes into the enterprise. To help grow its efforts, it announced a $2.5 million seed funding round on Thursday, led by Israel-based venture capital company YL Ventures.

Security is the "greatest pain point" facing enterprise adoption of container technologies, CEO and Co-Founder Ben Bernstein said, a problem the Tel Aviv-based company is looking to solve. The challenge, he said, is that containers create a vulnerability "blind spot" for security teams, who have little control or visibility into Docker or container applications.

"When you write your own software over Docker, no one is taking care of the security for that except your own security team. If your security team doesn't have visibility ... then you have a problem," Bernstein said. "That's the thing that we aim at solving."

[Related: Docker Survey: A Look Into The Container Revolution]

Last June, Docker unveiled its own enterprise-grade container system, a launch it said included a strategic focus on channel partners and systems integrators.

While there have been no high-profile exploits of that vulnerability on the scale of the Target and Home Depot breaches, Bernstein said it has been demonstrated that containers can be exploited and "it will be there eventually."

Twistlock, whose name comes from a term for securing shipping containers in place, allows enterprises to monitor both static and run-time container application activity, establish security baselines prior to production, and protect cloud and on-premise containers. It currently works with vendors such as Docker, Microsoft, Red Hat, VMware, Microsoft, Google, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Rackspace. Bernstein said he believes it is the first technology of its kind as the container technology market is fairly new and evolving rapidly, though he anticipates more competition down the road from startups, as well as established vendors like Symantec and McAfee.


"YL Ventures is proud to back the first company capable of making containers, and more specifically Docker containers, secure enough for the enterprise," said Yoav Leitersdorf, managing partner for YL Ventures, in a statement. "Twistlock provides the missing critical security features enterprises require before they can put containers in production environments. With the launch of Twistlock, the container market, as a whole, can take a huge leap forward."

In its go-to-market, Bernstein said Twistlock is approaching both the open-source community, who have been leaders in adopting Docker, as well as enterprise clients. While most of the market for container technology revolves around the open-source community, Bernstein said the company already has a few enterprise security suite customers and sees a large opportunity in that market.

The latest round of funding will be used to continue the company's "hiring spree," with an aim to grow the firm from 10 employees to 15. In particular, Bernstein said Twistlock is looking to boost its research and development team in Israel. The company also is building up its presence on the West Coast, with Bernstein moving to San Francisco to help establish partnerships with Docker, Google and other container technology companies.

PUBLISHED MAY 7, 2015

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