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10 Cloud Security Startups to Watch in 2014

By Jeff Vance, CIO
January 14, 2014 04:06 PM ET

CIO - The market for cloud security tools is booming. It's actually lagging behind the market for public cloud services, which means that the security sector should experience serious growth in coming years. Gartner estimates that the market for public cloud services will grow to $207 billion by 2016. We're often skeptical of analyst forecasts (you don't sell reports predicting a tiny market, after all), but this estimate could actually be low.

The public cloud services market already spiked from $91 billion worldwide in 2011 to $109 billion in 2012, and as more security tools come online to help boost the trust of public cloud services, growth should start hockey sticking soon. Here are 10 cloud security startups that could help boost cloud adoption in 2014 and beyond:

1. Bitium

What they do: Provide cloud application management, single sign-on and analytics tools. /p>

Headquarters: Santa Monica, Calif.

CEO: Scott Kriz, who was most recently VP of product for Fastpoint Games, a sports and entertainment gaming company that was sold to Weplay in 2012.

Founded: 2012

Funding: $2.4 million in seed funding from Resolute VC, Double M Partners, Social Leverage and Karlin Ventures.

Why they're on this list: Employees at organizations of all sizes interact with dozens of apps from multiple devices over the course of their business days -- this includes corporate enterprise apps, social apps, mobile apps and more. Bitium believes that two trends are converging, which will make this situation even more unmanageable. The dual trends of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is now dovetailing with the Bring Your Own App (BYOA) phenomena. If you prevent corporate apps from being used on employee-owned devices, savvy employees will simply switch to their own alternative apps. And if you forbid certain apps on corporate-owned devices, employees will access them on their own devices.

[ 12 Big BYOD Predictions for 2014 ]

This puts organizations in a tough spot and leaves many with little visibility into what services are being used and what sensitive corporate information is potentially being shared.

Most app management tools that promise security often do so at the expense of the end user. Many of these services are complex enough that they require a training session with corporate IT to set up accounts.

Bitium argues that it provides a solution that prioritizes security without sacrificing usability. With Bitium, users can access more than 1,000 cloud-based apps with a single sign-on. IT is able to securely grant and revoke application access to employees and partners in one click (without sharing passwords).

Versus other SSO/authentication solutions, Bitium adds a key piece of functionality: analytics. With Bitium, IT gains visibility into what apps teams are using on a regular basis -- allowing managers to stop risky behaviors and to save money by shutting off unused accounts. IT and business leaders can also see app activity within a company through Bitium's communications tool -- which pulls in messages and notifications from installed apps into a single stream.

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