The 10 Coolest Cybersecurity Startups Of 2020
The 10 coolest cybersecurity startups include companies securing and isolating applications from the network, gaining visibility into where threat actors will strike next, and automating compliance with complex global privacy regulations.
Taking On Tomorrow’s Threats
Some of cybersecurity’s best and brightest have in recent years formed companies to address everything from automating compliance with complex global privacy regulations to securing and isolating applications from the network to gaining visibility into where threat actors are most likely to strike next.
CRN has identified 10 cybersecurity startups founded since 2018 with at least $10 million of outside funding that stood apart from the pack thanks to new funding, the launch of partner initiatives, or key product enhancements or updates. Five of the top startups are based in California, two are based in Massachusetts, and the remaining three are headquartered in Colorado, New York and Israel.
These companies are solving security challenges such as securing application access for remote workers, gaining real-time visibility into cyberattacks as they’re happening and protecting data as it travels from the cloud to mobile and IoT device. Here’s a look at how the 10 coolest cybersecurity startups have made themselves relevant to partners and customers alike.
CEO: Rohit Choudhary
Acceldata was founded in 2018, and in October closed a $8.5 million Series A round led by Sorenson Ventures to simplify data observability for enterprise analytics and AI. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company employs 31 people today, up from just 17 employees a year ago, according to LinkedIn.
The company’s data observability platform provides cross-sectional visibility into analytical and AI systems for global customers, including GE, Walmart and Michelin. The Acceldata platform synthesizes signals across workloads, infrastructure and usage into a single pane of glass that enables customers to predict, identify and fix data issues that could impact business outcomes and business continuity.
Acceldata’s platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to simplify data operations and help fix data issues in real-time, significantly reducing the amount of time data teams have to spend identifying and solving problems on their own. The company said it can also lower overall system licensing costs and accelerate enterprise data success.
CEO: Dor Knafo
Axis Security was founded in 2018, and closed a $14 million Series A round led by Ten Eleven Ventures in March as well as a $32 million Series B round led by Canaan Partners in September. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company employs 56 people today, up from just 23 employees a year ago, according to LinkedIn.
The company unveiled the Axis Security Partner Program (ASPP) for VARs, systems integrators, MSSPs, OEM partners and distributors in April to help enterprises offer secure application access for their remote workforce. The two-tier program includes business development opportunities, training, joint marketing, partner collateral, marketing co-op funds, sales leads and field account planning.
Axis Security in September strengthened its secure application access platform with policy controls based on dynamic directory integration, disarm and reconstruct capabilities, and application layer visibility for incident response investigations. These enhancements ensure organizations can deliver zero trust access to third-party supply chain partners, contractors and employees.
CEO: Abhijit Ghosh
Confluera was founded in 2018, and in May closed a $20 million Series B round led by Icon Ventures to accelerate the adoption of autonomous security for cloud infrastructure. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company currently employs 28 people, according to LinkedIn.
Confluera 2.0 debuted in October to deliver cloud workload detection and response with the unique ability to deterministically track threats progressing through the environment. The platform provides a complete attack narrative of a cyberattack in real-time, as opposed to showing isolated alerts, allowing security teams to intercept threats as they are happening instead of remediating breaches after the fact.
The company’s newly launched partner program delivers an innovative way for solution providers to practice security, from a post-facto incident response to a real-time threat interception. 3SG Plus, a technology solutions provider to local governments, utilities and technology firms, in November became the second partner to join the Confluera 2020 Reseller Program.
Co-CEOs: Sam Li and Austin Ogilvie
Laika was founded in 2019, and in September closed a $10 million Series A funding round led by Canapi Ventures to increase headcount and platform capabilities as well as simplify the compliance and audit process for growing businesses. The New York-based company currently employs 36 people, up from just seven employees a year ago, according to LinkedIn.
The company is building the future of compliance and audit management through automated workflows featuring subject-matter experts, allowing customers to scale confidently by automating workflows in audit preparation, due diligence and vendor management. With Laika‘s software platform and expert-in-the-loop offering, it has never been easier to implement, maintain, and demonstrate compliance.
From control implementation to vendor management, workflows are centralized and automated while Laika‘s concierge team streamlines audit prep and management through enterprise procurement. The company makes it possible for customers to get certified faster, close larger deals and build scalable security practices that stand the test of any audit.
CEO: Amit Bareket
Perimeter 81 was founded in 2018, and closed a $4.5 million Series A extension round led by Toba Capital in March as well as a $40 million Series B funding round led by Insight Partners in August. The Tel Aviv, Israel-based company currently employs 82 people, up from just 50 employees a year ago, according to LinkedIn.
The company rolled out Zero Trust Application Access in July 2019, which uses device trust policy validation to authorize employees before granting them swift access to applications in a session that is fully audited and can be recorded and monitored. The tool secures the network, employees, and applications using Zero Trust guidelines, and isolates the applications from the network at all times.
Later that month, the company integrated with SentinelOne to ensures that endpoints are fully compliant and protected before they join Perimeter 81’s secure cloud-based network. Then in February 2020, Perimeter 81 teamed up with SonicWall to make it possible for businesses to connect to a single secure network and gain access to physical and cloud resources no matter their location.
CEO: Guru Pai
Privafy was founded in 2019, and in January the company received $22 million in minority investments to continue scaling product development for its cloud-based security business. The Burlington, Mass.-based company currently employs 66 people, up from 61 employees a year ago, according to LinkedIn.
The company in October worked with Micron Technology to develop an IoT security tool that integrates Security-as-a-Service for OEM device manufacturers and service providers deploying connected products from smart locks to self-driving automobiles. At the heart of the partnership is an embedded software module that enables IoT devices to leverage Privafy‘s Data-in-Motion security capabilities.
Privafy’s cloud-native application provides comprehensive protection as data traverses between locations, clouds, mobile devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT). The application delivers a full spectrum of protection against cyberattacks, including unauthorized intrusions and access, malware attacks, DDoS and malicious service interruption, ransomware, botnets and more, Privafy said.
CEO: Brian Hazzard
Randori was founded in 2018, and in April closed a $20 million Series A funding round led by Harmony Partners to grow the company’s Attack Platform and bring a continuous red team experience to market. The Waltham, Mass.-based company employs 37 people, up from 27 employees a year ago, according to LinkedIn.
The company was started to provide CISOs with visibility into where threat actors will strike next and the ability to easily validate and understand the impact specific attacks pose to their organizations. A year later, the company debuted Randori Recon, which provides organizations with a stack ranked list of their most tempting targets.
Then in February, the Randori Attack Platform debuted to enable organizations to practice defending against real-world attacks in a safe, cost-effective and continuous manner, helping them assess where and how they are most likely to be breached. The platform mirrors today’s nation-state actors and criminal adversaries by emulating all stages of a real-world attack, according to Randori.
CEO: Rehan Jalil
Securiti.ai was founded in 2018, and in January closed a $50 million Series B funding round led by General Catalyst to continue its rapid growth around customer adoption, global presence, and product capabilities. The San Jose-based company currently employs 197 people, up from just 161 employees a year ago, according to LinkedIn.
The company debuted Securiti.ai in November to help automate all major functions needed to comply with a myriad of complex global privacy regulations in one place by using artificial intelligence and skillful bots. Firms can use Privacy.ai to fulfill their data request obligations in hours instead of weeks at a fraction of the cost of manual operations, while significantly reducing the risk of financial penalties.
By January, Securiti.ai had seen rapid adoption and processed more than 100 million identifies, prompting the company to introduce additional product enhancements as well as freemium and self-service offerings. Security.ai expanded into new regions including South America, Canada and Asia-Pacific, plus the company added new vice president positions around sales, marketing and Asia-Pacific.
CEO: Joni Klippert
StackHawk was founded in 2019, and in October closed a $10 million Series A funding round led by Sapphire Ventures to put application security in the hands of developers. The Denver-based company currently employs 18 people, according to LinkedIn.
The company spent a year building a strong base of Early Access customers who had automated their application security testing, checking for vulnerabilities on every merge, before launching into general availability in September. The software-as-a-service startup’s platform empowers software engineers to easily find and fix application security bugs before they hit production.
StackHawk leverages the ZAP web application security scanning tool and has focused product development on functionality that serves developer-first security, such as security test automation. The company said its testing approach shortens fix times, pushes potential vulnerabilities to the engineering teams that built the feature, and ensure that vulnerabilities are caught before they hit production.
CEO: Tony Huie
Twingate was founded in 2019, and in October closed a $17 million Series A funding round led by venture capital firms WndrCo, 8VC, Green Bay Ventures and SignalFire, as well as Dropbox founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi. The Redwood City, Calif.-based company currently employs 27 people, according to LinkedIn.
The company offers a modern remote access tool designed to improve an organization’s security posture without introducing compromise and headaches around deployment and ease of use. Twingate uses standards-based cryptographic techniques to encrypt and authorize network traffic, but takes a unique approach to how much decentralized agreement must exist to authorize network connections.
Twingate alleviates the heavy burden of IT administrators securing their remote workers with a seamless deployment process designed to take 15 minutes or less. The product works in the background without the need for constant babysitting, intelligently segregating traffic before it leaves the end user’s device and directly routing connections to the right destination.