10 New Cloud Security Startups That Are Making Their Mark

Cloud Security: The Next Generation

Concerns about security have dogged cloud computing since the day businesses began considering cloud solutions. And they still remain front-and-center on the list of things that are restraining companies from doing more with the cloud.

But in recent years, cybersecurity startups looking to seize on the cloud opportunity have been steadily emerging, offering new ways to address the challenges and, ultimately, make the cloud a less scary proposition for many companies.

Here are 10 of the newest cloud security startups that are making waves in the market and that solution providers might want to watch. Most of these 10, in fact, work with partners already. As more businesses have developed clearer cloud strategies and uses, these 10 have begun to advance new ideas and solutions to protect data and infrastructure.


CEO: Gil Friedrich

Avanan's platform offers a clever way to protect two of the fundamental elements of the cloud: software-as-a-service (such as Office 365 or Google Apps) and infrastructure-as-service (such as Amazon AWS). Avanan says its cloud security platform works for any SaaS or IaaS product and offers a wide range of capabilities -- including malware protection, data leakage prevention, email security, behavior monitoring and advanced threat detection. How could one startup's product do all of that (and for the cloud, no less)? That's the clever part. The company has preconfigured cloud-based versions of products from more than 60 vendors, which include many of the biggest names: Symantec, McAfee, Check Point, Palo Alto Networks, Kaspersky and Sophos. Avanan, based in New York, has a partner program.

Cato Networks

CEO: Shlomo Kramer

As Cato Networks is quick to point out, the simple idea of a single "perimeter" for a network dissolved with the arrival of the cloud and mobile computing. Cato's big idea is to simplify things once again for companies looking to secure their networks. The startup does this by creating what it calls "One Network," a single global network in the cloud that connects all branch locations, mobile users and infrastructure (both physical and cloud). The Tel Aviv, Israel-based company works with about a dozen partners globally.


CEO: Elizabeth Lawler

Though the cloud has become central to many businesses' operations, access management hasn't necessarily kept up. Conjur aims to close that gap by providing what it calls "preventive security," through software that ensures authorization for workloads in cloud environments. Recently, the startup extended its software to include Windows workloads in the cloud or hybrid cloud. The Waltham, Mass.-based company works with partners that include ISVs and cloud systems integrators.


CEO: Ernesto DiGiambattista

Identifying and fixing security vulnerabilities in software code can take up a lot of time because it doesn't typically happen in real-time. But what if it did? That's something Cybric is aiming to pioneer by continually scanning "shadows" of a software application before it even goes into production. Cybric, which covers both cloud and on-premise applications, then allows vulnerabilities to be fixed automatically using company-established policies. The Boston-based startup expects to launch general availability release of its product in the third quarter, when it also plans to establish a channel partner program.


CEO: Tim Prendergast

The rise of public cloud infrastructure providers has occurred despite security concerns. But according to Evident.io, based in Dublin, Calif., a broader move to the public cloud would be possible if better monitoring and remediation of security issues were available. That's what the startup aims to offer with its cloud-native software, which continuously monitors an organization's workloads for security risks, then provides guidance to security staff about remediation options. Evident.io partners with regional ISVs and resellers that help customers move to Amazon Web Services and other cloud providers.


CEO: Guy Guzner

Here's an outside-the-box idea in cloud security: Contain all threats to a company's network inside a box. FireGlass has developed what it calls a "Threat Isolation Platform" that creates something akin to a moat around users' web browsers in which malicious data can't penetrate. Rather than try to detect and filter out threats, FireGlass provides users with an exact visual representation of what's on the web, but since it's only a visual representation, the data that could potentially infect users never reaches their machines. It's all kept safely inside the FireGlass ’box.’ FireGlass, based in New York, launched a channel partner program in April.


CEO: Kevin O'Brien

In the realm of tough-to-stop cyberattacks, spear phishing attacks (highly targeted emails that appear to be from someone legitimate) are near the top of the list. Recognizing that perimeter defenses aren't always suited to stop these kinds of attacks, GreatHorn has developed cloud-native software -- powered by machine learning -- that automatically removes impostor messages before they reach a user's inbox. The Belmont, Mass.-based startup works with reseller partners including Microsoft Azure.

Threat Stack

CEO: Brian M. Ahern

There are numerous solutions to secure Amazon Web Services' public cloud platforms, and often, they only add to the complexity of managing risk rather than simplifying it. Threat Stack aims to replace those point tools with its Cloud Security Platform, which provides insight about changes occurring in a user's cloud environments. The cloud-native software continuously monitors those changes and provides users with real-time visibility into what's going on. Boston-based Threat Stack doesn't work with channel partners now, but is open to doing that in the future, a spokesperson said.


CEO: Ben Bernstein

Containers have quickly risen to prominence as a way to solve many of the headaches of software development. But they don't provide the sort of security visibility and control companies are used to, according to Twistlock. In response, the startup has released a product that aims to enable vulnerability management, authentication and other capabilities with containers. San Francisco-based Twistlock works with several channel partners.

Virgil Security

CEO: Michael W. Wellman

Concerns about snooping are paramount when it comes to cloud communications, fueling demand for encryption technologies for the cloud. Virgil Security's approach is to offer libraries of cryptographic software to developers, paired with a cloud-based key management service, which together aim to allow for enhanced software security. Twilio, which offers a platform used to build cloud communications applications such as text messaging and voice, has made it possible for developers on its platform to integrate technology from Virgil. The company, based in Manassas, Va., has an active channel sales program.

Follow all of CRN's Cloud Security Week 2016 coverage.