SoftLayer founder’s new company, StackPath, releases app security product

Well, that didn’t take long. A product release from Lance Crosby’s new gig: SecureCDN

SoftLayer founder’s new company, StackPath, releases its product
Credit: Thinkstock

It’s always interesting to see what happens when a high-profile CEO sells his company and then finishes up his earn-out period. There are a few different models: some individuals go buy an island, start making films or go on permanent vacation. Others take some time to work out what they’re going to do and maybe take an entrepreneur-in-residence position for a time, while others jump straight back into the shark tank.

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Lance Crosby, the guy who sold the SoftLayer cloud computing platform to IBM a few years ago, is very much in the latter camp. He's an inveterate entrepreneur, so it was a safe bet that we’d see something new from him in short order. And indeed we did. StackPath came out of the blocks announcing massive funding and a number of early acquisitions. I guess when you’re a known quantity, these sort of opportunities just land in your lap.

StackPath announces SecureCDN

Raising money is nice and all, but I was interested to see how long it would be before we had real product from StackPath? Well, it certainly didn’t take long. The security vendor is announcing general availability for its Global Security Platform today. SecureCDN is, more correctly, the first generally available service built on top of StackPath’s platform.

The gist of the SecureCDN offering revolves around application security, and it includes a global network of content servers, a corresponding web application firewall and some tools to mitigate distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. All up, it is a holistic product aimed at helping developers secure their applications, infrastructure and assets.

More broadly, StackPath is setting itself up to be the “DevOps security vendor.” Clearly attack vectors are developing rapidly, and developers and operations teams need a more holistic approach to fight threats. As StackPath would have us believe, current procurement processes for security solutions tend to be an afterthought—kind of a “we have this particular problem; let's find a fix for it” type of approach.

Add to this the fact that often a standalone team implements the security tools, and you have an important disconnect. In the same way that DevOps arose to join the formerly disconnected developer and operations teams, StackPath hopes to bring security to DevOps.

“We couldn’t be more excited about launching SecureCDN as the first service on the StackPath platform,” said Crosby, CEO of StackPath. “We need to stop seeking the next shiny new point solution or focusing on who is to blame and instead look to our developers—the creation process. It’s the developers who will lead the fundamental change in the enterprise, working closely with IT staff to identify security issues early on. StackPath is leading this change by empowering organizations large and small to shift the conversation from security ‘buy-in’ to security ‘built in.’”

What SecureCDN offers

In terms of what SecureCDN actually offers, it comes complete with a global content delivery network with 20 points of presence, the aforementioned web application firewall and DDoS tools, real-time analytics and support. Pricing is based on pre-paid bandwidth, with a starting rate of $20 per month and rates down to 2 cents per gigabyte.

StackPath’s first customer win is perhaps the best indication that previous historical success is the key determinant for future success. Put another way, people like to buy from a known quantity:

“We needed a robust solution that would provide top-notch security and keep our business up and running 24/7. As a customer service-oriented business, we don’t have any excuses for network downtime or security issues that could impact our customers’ day-to-day business operations,” said Ben Gabler, CEO of Help.com. “We are proud to be one of the first customers to sign up with StackPath, as we have a long-standing relationship with the executive team who has proven to deliver cutting-edge technologies well beyond the times, and we look forward to taking advantage of future services they are rolling out this year.”

StackPath has the cash, the connections and the vision to go big. It’s going to be an interesting ride.

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