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10 Hot Security Startups to Watch

Whether it’s mobile, cloud, virtualization or SDN, these start-ups are taking up the security challenges

By , Network World
July 10, 2013 01:56 PM ET

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Stopping stealthy intrusions aimed at stealing sensitive information or otherwise compromising networks is the mission of Irvine, Calif.-based start-up Cylance. Last month in June, Cylance completed controlled beta tests of its first product intended to do this. Called Cylance PrivateDETECT, it’s endpoint detection and prevention software that makes use of Cylance’s “secret sauce” based on algorithms that are supposed to sort out  “good” and “bad” files, in order to block Windows-based attacks and malware.

Stuart McClure
Stuart McClure, CEO and president of Cylance

Irvine, Calif.-based Cylance was founded in July 2012 by president and CEO Stuart McClure and Ryan Permeh, CTO, both with many years in the security industry. McClure launched Foundstone, acquired by McAfee in 2004, and McClure became CTO of McAfee. Permeh was founder of eEye and former scientist at McAfee.

McClure says what Cylance has come up with to detect stealthy attacks, whether they originate inside or outside the network, is not signature-based or malware-specific but a way to look at “millions of files per day” and “detect mathematically and algorithmically, what’s bad or good.” He says the goal is to monitor attacks and protect networks by preventing code execution. Additional products besides PrivateDETECT are likely to appear by year end.

Cylance has received $15 million in funding from a number of sources, including Khosla Ventures and Fairhaven Capital, and its board includes Patrick Heim, chief trust officer for, and William Fallon, former Admiral of the US Central Command.

Another start-up on our list, NetCitadel, made its debut in January, with its Threat Response Platform and a product called OneControl intended to automate what might otherwise be manual research and changes related to configuring firewalls, switches or other gear when virtual-machine workloads are spun up or down in enterprise data centers of cloud environments.

Mike Horn
Mike Horn, co-founder and CEO of NetCitadel

“We’re helping enterprises go from manual processing that’s time-consuming to show automated responses to network events,” said Mike Horn, co-founder and CEO of NetCitadel about the purpose of the OneControl virtual appliance. Used in data centers, it can automate determinations about firewall, router and switch settings based on the preferred corporate security policy related to VM-based workloads. OneControl can be installed to work with the various VM platforms, including VMware, Xen and Hyper-V.

Some early adopters include Kenettek, the Broken Arrow, Okla.-based managed services and data center provider which serves the oil and gas industry. Ken Dobbins, service manager there, has found it to help in efficiently running its data center, which is mostly virtualized. He said it not only has saved time related to changes in firewalls and routers, but it has even resulted in some savings related to VMware licensing charges based on “committed RAM per hour.”

Mountain View, Calif.-based NetCitadel was founded in 2010 by Horn with Theron Tock, CTO and Vadim Kurland. Tock was previously co-founder and CTO of Neoteris, an SSL VPN appliance maker. NetCitadel, which has received an undisclosed amount of  funding from New Enterprise Associates, is competing against the likes of Cisco and Juniper, which offer similar security-policy management and orchestration products.

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