The 10 Coolest Security Startups Of 2017 (So Far)

Coolest In Cybersecurity

The cybersecurity startup space is as vibrant as ever, as the security market continues to grow and new markets start to emerge. However, with that opportunity comes intensifying competition, as customers look to wade through the noise of security startups and become more selective about their security purchases. CRN has identified ten startups that have stood out from the crowd this year so far, with new funding, technology or key executive wins. The companies on this list include startups solving challenges around IoT, the cloud, application security, user identification and more. As we get ready for the second half of the year, take a look back at 10 security startups that made their mark in the year so far.

Centripetal Networks

CEO: Steven Rogers

Centripetal Networks offers a purpose-built hardware platform that uses real-time network defense to provide visibility and identify threats indicators at scale. The company's Threat Intelligence Gateway includes a threat intelligence service that normalizes third-party threat intelligence feeds, a RuleGate Filter for blocking alerts in-line with the network, and a QuickThreat Analytics Manager for visualization and process management. More recently, the company launched a CleanInternet managed security service for implementation, configuration, management and ongoing threat analysis. The company was named a "2017 Cool Vendor" by Gartner.


CEO: Amir Zilberstein

As IoT security challenges become ever more real, Israeli security startup Claroty looks to help companies secure OT networks. The company's suite of security products include technologies for gaining visibility into control system network traffic, threat detection, real-time monitoring, alerts for anomalous behavior, controls over third-party and insider access, and response capabilities. The company launched from stealth last fall with $32 million in funding. Since then, Claroty has been vastly expanding its reach as it looks to provide much-needed offerings for OT security, including opening a global headquarters in New York and naming former FireEye CEO Dave DeWalt as board chairman.


CEO: Slavik Markovich

The market for security automation and orchestration is heating up in a big way, driven in large part by an increasing talent shortage and rising number of security alerts. Founded in 2015, Demisto has garnered significant venture capital attention – including $20 million in funding in February – for its security automation platform. The offering helps SOC analysts automate alert triage, track and manage incidents, automate threat feed correlation, and facilitate incident investigations. The company launched its first partner program in June and appointed former Optiv Security executive Bob Kruse as vice president of alliances.


CEO: Andrew Rubin

Illumio is another cloud security vendor that closed a massive funding round in recent months, announcing it had raised $125 million in Series D funding in June. Illumio has an offering that adapts to both data center and cloud environments, securing them by providing visibility and control over enterprise applications. The company, which has already seen 400 percent year-over-year growth in annualized bookings, said it plans to put the new funding toward global expansion, including a big investment in its channel organization and R&D.

illusive networks

CEO: Ofer Israeli

Illusive Networks is one of the handful of startups looking to stake its claim in the emerging market for deception technology. The New York-based company's Deception Everywhere offering uses an agentless approach to "turn the tables on attackers" by installing decoy data onto laptops, desktops, servers, data centers and more to root out attackers already in the environment. This looks to solve a challenge in security around attack detection and attribution. The company has a 100 percent focus on the channel. Launched in 2014, the company has gained significant traction this year, including a strategic investment in January by Microsoft Ventures and the June addition of security executive Dave DeWalt as vice chairman of its board of directors.

Obsidian Security

CEO: Glenn Chisholm

Obsidian Security was launched in June of this year to bring a new approach to the security stack, with technology to attack the challenges posed by an expanding enterprise infrastructure. While the startup is "still a little bit in stealth," the company said it will look to use tools such as data telemetry, threat detection, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to provide a "more uniform view of what you're defending and what is going in terms of activity across all of those different environments." The startup launched with $9.5 million in venture capital funding and was founded by a group of top cybersecurity executives, including Carbon Black co-founder and former CTO Ben Johnson; former Cylance CTO and product organization executive vice president Glenn Chisholm, and ex-Cylance Chief Data Scientist Matt Wolff.


CEO: Varun Badhwar

RedLock emerged from stealth in May with 100 percent channel strategy and a cloud security offering that looks to provide visibility, monitoring and control over public cloud infrastructure. The company also raised $12 million in Series A funding at that time. RedLock was created by CEO Varun Badhwar, a co-founder of cloud access security brokerage company CipherCloud. The company's RedLock Cloud 360 platform offers a new way for companies to see what is inside their cloud infrastructure, providing a common control point for workload discovery, continuous monitoring and cloud forensics. Companies can use the offering to detect anomalies, do risk scoring, compliance reporting, and view and set security controls. RedLock was a finalist in this year's RSA Innovation Sandbox startup contest.


CEO: Aleksandr Yampolskiy

More than half of the security breaches that happen today are the result of a third-party security issue, so tracking the overall health of the entire IT landscape has never been more critical. SecurityScorecard is one of a handful of companies looking to address this challenge with a security ratings platform. SecurityScorecard has built a SaaS-based, independent security rating platform that continuously collects security information, including malware, application and network security data, and leaked information and translates the data into a risk rating grade for an end customer. The platform can also be used to assess any security risks associated with a company's third-party vendors or acquisition targets. The company went 100 percent channel earlier this year, with the launch of its inaugural partner program in January, and has also launched a Risk Ratings Alliance for tighter integration with other security products, including governance, risk and compliance and vendor risk management vendors, as well as data service bureaus and credit ratings agencies.

Signal Sciences

CEO: Andrew Peterson

As web applications change more rapidly than ever before – and open the door to more security issues – Signal Sciences is looking to help companies keep pace across DevOps, cloud adoption, development and security workflows. The company's web protection platform is infrastructure agnostic and can be deployed in multiple ways – including as a next-generation web application firewall, runtime application self-protection, or reverse proxy – to analyze application traffic and detect and block attacks using its cloud analysis engine. The company landed $15 million in funding in May and was named a "2017 Cool Vendor" by Gartner.


CEO: John Whaley

Winner of this year's RSA Innovation Sandbox event, UnifyID looks to reinvent the authentication market. The company's authentication uses passive behavioral analytics and machine learning to identify users. The company monitors more than 100 attributes about a user, for example using cellphone sensor data to identify how a person walks and using this as an "implicit authentication" metric. UnifyID launched from stealth last September.