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12 hot security start-ups to watch

Ellen Messmer | Nov. 14, 2013
Going into 2014, a whirlwind of security start-ups are looking to have an impact on the enterprise world. Here's our slate of security start-ups worth watching in the near future

Malcovery Security, based in Pittsburgh, was basically spun out in 2012 from research on phishing done at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, according to its CTO Greg Coticchia. Targeted phishing attacks can have disastrous outcomes when devices are targeted to infiltrate organizations and steal data. Coticchia says the Malcovery technologies offered to businesses include ways to identify phishing websites and a service that can detect phishing e-mail. The company's founders include Gary Warner, director of research in cyber forensics at the University of Alabama, and the start-up has received about $3 million in funding from the university.

Netskope wants to help businesses monitor how their employees are using cloud-based applications and apply security controls to it, such as giving IT managers the ability to block data transfers or receive alerts. The Netskope service can apply security controls to about 3,000 different cloud-based applications, whether they be SaaS, PaaS or Iaas. The Netskope service is meant to let IT divisions get a grip on cloud usage and avoid the "shadow IT" issue of business people initiating cloud services without informing IT at all. The Los Altos, Calif.-based start-up was founded in 2012 by CEO Sanjay Beri along with chief architect Ravi Ithal, chief scientist Krishna Narayanaswami, and Lebin Chang, head of application engineering teams, all who bring tech industry experience ranging from Juniper to Palo Alto Networks to VMware. Netskope has amassed $21 million in venture funding from Social+Capital Partnership and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

PrivateCore is a crypto-based security play, focusing on making use of the central processing unit (CPU) as the trusted component to encrypt data in use. PrivateCore has come up with what it calls its vCage software that relies on the Intel Xeon Sandy Bridge CPU for secure processing through means of Intel Sandy Bridge-based servers in cloud environments, first off in IaaS. The challenge in processing encrypted data is "the problem with having to decrypt to do processing," says Oded Horovitz, CEO of the Palo Alto, Calif.-based start-up he co-founded with Steve Weis, CTO, and Cal Waldspurger as adviser. The vCage approach, based on Intel CPU Sandy Bridge, makes use of the Intel Trusted Execution Technologies and Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm to perform the processing in RAM. This can be done with Intel Sandy Bridge because there's now about 20MB of cache available, he points out, enough to get the job done. The data in question is only unencrypted in the CPU. This encryption approach is being tested now by IaaS providers and some enterprises, and PrivateCore expects to have its first product in general release early next year. The start-up has received $2.4 million in venture capital from Foundation Capital.

 

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