Companies (and VC) spends billions of dollars on cybersecurity, but mainly focuses on protecting infrastructure or endpoints. That’s not always the right approach in a world where – thanks to the pandemic – data is increasingly distributed across clouds, software-as-a-service, and storage systems. . Follow According to a 2021 survey, 61% of enterprise security leaders believe their cybersecurity teams are understaffed.
“Businesses and government agencies are looking for a new approach to keeping their data safe no matter where it is, especially in the cloud,” Ambuj Kumar told TechCrunch via email. He is the CEO and co-founder of Fortanix, which aims to separate security from network infrastructure to keep data safe even if the infrastructure has been compromised. “They require the protection of sensitive and controlled data, throughout its lifecycle – at rest, in motion and in use.”
Kumar, a salesman, thinks Fortanix is one of the more comprehensive solutions to the growing challenge of data security. Some investors agree. Fortanix today closed a $90 million Series C funding round led by Goldman Sachs Growth Equity with participation from Giantleap Capital, Foundation Capital, Intel Capital, Neotribe Ventures and In-Q-Tel (investors) non-profit strategy for the US intelligence community). The total raised amounted to $122 million, which Kumar said will mainly be used to expand sales and marketing activities as well as opening a new office in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
“Amid a widespread market downturn, growth rounds have slowed significantly. At the same time, investors with a lot of dry powder and companies with strong revenue profiles and profitable business models will attract a lot of attention,” Kumar said. “We are fortunate to be one of those companies. History shows that great companies are built in tough economic times when competitors are unfunded, talent becomes more readily available, and customers merge toward powerful products. stronger”.
Kumar founded Fortanix with Anand Kashyap in 2016. Kumar was previously the head of hardware design at Nvidia and the chief architect at Rambus’s crypto division. Kashyap was a principal security researcher at Symantec before becoming a staff engineer at VMware.
Fortanix sells access to data security software across public, hybrid, multi-cloud, and private cloud environments, and database encryption, and application secret management (e.g.: username and password) both in the cloud and on-premises. In addition to cryptographic services, Fortanix also provides confidential computing, a cloud technology that isolates sensitive data in the encrypted CPU area during processing so that the contents of the encrypted area This can only be accessed by authorized programming code.
Fortanix’s secret computing technology is built on Intel’s established SGX platform. Hardware-based security technology uses trusted hardware inside the CPU to create the aforementioned zone, e.g. enabling data pools in regulated industries such as financial services and healthcare use private data while maintaining anonymity.
Driven by those types of use cases, at least one company predicts that secret computer market will be worth $54 billion by 2026. The adoption of secret computing technologies has really accelerated in recent years, with tech companies like Intel, Google, Microsoft, Arm and Red Hat becoming the set up an organization – the Confidential Computing Consortium – to strengthen data protection standards. Startups with rival secret computing solutions include Chisel systemEdgeless and Decentriq systems.
“To better protect sensitive data, it is helpful to think about it in multiple dimensions of the lifecycle – i.e. when it is at rest, in transit or in use,” continued Kumar. “Typically, the third dimension, when data is used, is ignored because of inadequate protection mechanisms or misconceptions about security. Several recent serious malware attacks have occurred in active state, including the Triton attack and the Ukraine power grid attack. [Fortanix’s] technology that protects applications and sensitive data ‘in use’ from unauthorized access and tampering when it is highly vulnerable, extending the security already in place to data at rest and in transit online action. “
Fortanix claims to have more than 125 customers globally, including Adidas, Google, PayPal, GE Healthcare, the US Department of Justice, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Partners include Elastx and Alibaba Cloud, which run Fortanix’s key management service on their platform, and Equinix, which operates Fortanix to provide its own security. IBM Cloud is another occasional collaborator – it has partnered with Fortanix on a data protection service in use.
“In most cases, our primary job becomes to convince customers that it is not enough just to try to keep their networks secure and educate them about the benefits of data security above all else. In rare cases, we compete with legacy data security providers like Thales and HashiCorp,” added Kumar.
Kumar declined to disclose sales figures when asked. But he assures me that Fortanix continues to grow, with plans to increase its 225-person staff by 50% over the next year.
“We are certainly sensitive to macroeconomic conditions. However, data security and privacy are top priorities for businesses globally, and we continue to see strong demand for our services,” said Kumar.