Take Notice: 6 Security Startups Shaking Up The Industry

Meet The New Guard

This sampling of security startups and some of their close competitors with emerging security technology are causing established security vendors to take notice. Some of the emerging companies are pushing technology that protects SaaS applications, others use behavioral monitoring, analytics and threat intelligence to detect breaches and systems compromised by advanced threats. Solution providers and industry observers are bracing for consolidation among the emerging pure-play vendors. Some will build out their portfolio. Others will be acquired by more established security vendors. And others will hear the death knell, unable to compete in the crowded market.


Headquarters: Palo Alto Calif.

Co-founder, CEO: Assaf Rappaport

Summary: Adallom specializes in a cloud auditing service that monitors SaaS services, such as Box and Salesforce.com, for suspicious user behavior.

Market Impact: Adallom is among an emerging group of SaaS security vendors designed to protect sanctioned cloud applications. The company may prove to be a disrupter among Web security gateway and data loss prevention vendors that traditionally protect internal applications and data, forcing them to add capabilities that address SaaS services. Think vendors like Websense, Symantec, Barracuda Networks and Blue Coat.

Bit9-Carbon Black

Headquarters: Waltham, Mass.

CEO: Patrick Morley

Summary: Bit9 is an application whitelisting specialist that acquired security startup Carbon Black in 2014, giving it threat detection and digital forensics capabilities for incident responders.

Market Impact: The Bit9-Carbon Black combination aims at IBM-Trusteer and RSA-SilverTail Systems. It's an endpoint security alternative that is pitted up against other emerging vendors. In addition to Lumension Security, the combination impacts traditional endpoint security platform makers, including Kaspersky Lab, Intel Security, Symantec and Trend Micro.


Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.

CEO: Rehan Jalil

Summary: Much like Adallom, Netskope and other cloud security vendors, Elastica offers a platform designed to address compliance and regulatory requirements with cloud-based services. The company differentiates itself by taking a 100 percent channel approach.

Market Impact: Elastica's direct competitors include Adallom, CipherCloud, Netskope, Perspecsys and Skyhigh Networks. Websense, Symantec, Barracuda Networks and Blue Coat are cognizant of Elastica and these other SaaS security startups.


Headquarters: Los Altos, Calif.

CEO: Gonen Fink

Summary: LightCyber monitors the network and creates a baseline of user, device and application behavior to identify system compromises and advanced threats. The company's Magna platform uses span ports or network taps to inspect network traffic, combining it with behavioral analysis to detect threats and provides alerts for incident responders.

Market Impact: CEO Fink is a serious technologist, having been an early engineer and chief architect at Check Point Software Technologies, when it was a startup in 1994. The company is getting noticed by FireEye for its ability to detect advanced threats and by Promisec and startup Tanium, for its ability to get a baseline of systems and devices on the corporate network to detect subtle changes that could be system compromises.

Vectra Networks

Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.

CEO: Hitesh Sheth

Summary: Vectra Networks' X-Series platform monitors corporate networks and uses data analytics to identify threats and prioritize alerts for incident responders. Vectra Networks is deployed in passive mode near the WAN gateway and takes a snapshot of the network and then monitors it for threat indicators, such as a cybercriminal's lateral movement to a server containing sensitive data.

Market Impact: One of Vectra Networks' six investors is Juniper Networks. The company's chief technology officer, Oliver Tavakoli, was a Juniper veteran, having served on the networking vendor's security business unit. The company's direct competitors include security startups Scuronix, 21CT and Bay Dynamics. Vectra Networks' approach is being closely followed by Damballa, which sells an automated breach detection system, and Arbor Networks, which sells appliances to defend against distributed denial of service attacks, but is building a broader antimalware platform. Symantec is paying attention to Vectra Networks.

It recently acquired more than 60 engineers from Boeing subsidiary Narus, which is a Vectra Networks competitor. Traditional security information event management platforms HP-Arcsight, LogRhythm and IBM-QRadar are also paying close attention to this growing space.


Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.

Founder, CEO: Jay Chaudhry

Summary: Zscaler is a SaaS-based security vendor that uses a proxy to scan network traffic and identify threats. The company provides content filtering, data loss prevention, SSL decryption, advanced threat detection capabilities and wireless security.

Market Impact: Zscaler impacts Web security gateway vendors and traditional endpoint security vendors and is increasingly being compared to OpenDNS, which also provides enterprise-grade security. The company's competitors include Barracuda Networks, Intel Security, Symantec and Trend Micro.