10 Cloud Security Startups to Watch in 2014

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What they do: Provide cloud-based security that protects Web applications by contextually securing and monitoring all content, user sessions, and application behavior.

Headquarters: Los Angeles, Calif.

CEO: Julien Bellanger, who previously founded Personagraph, a mobile user privacy company. Prior to that, he was Director of Corporate Development at Intertrust.

Founded: 2013

Funding: $2.4 million in seed funding.

Why they're on this list: Enterprises are struggling to secure Web applications and the user content within those applications due to the diverse and distributed nature of the Web. With open APIs, uncontrolled user access, and content propagation, both Web developers and security teams find it impossible to fend off the sheer volume of threats.

Prevoty's cloud-based security solution protects Web applications (and their user content) through the use of "contextual security that focuses on the behavior of content within the context of the Web application."

Prevoty analyzes and interprets all content within the Web application to protect against OWASP threats, preventing cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injections (SQLI), and cross-site request forgeries (XSRF). It differentiates good content from bad content, so risks associated with user-uploaded content is mitigated. All of this is done in real time and without relying on past definitions. Organizations can also deploy their own business logic to personalize the configuration. The Prevoty system also includes strong authentication, ongoing threat analysis, alerts, and performance optimization features.

Competitive Landscape: Prevoty competes against Web Application Firewall (WAF) vendors, such as Citrix, F5, Radware, and A10 Networks. Prevoty differentiates itself through its focus on behaviors, rather than blacklists, and by delivering this solution as a service, rather than an appliance.

9. Skyhigh Networks

What they do: Provide a cloud lifecycle and security suite, which discovers, analyzes, and secures various cloud services.

Headquarters: Cupertino, Calif.

CEO: Rajiv Gupta. He formerly founded Securent and served as its CEO. After Cisco acquired Securent for $100 million in 2007, Gupta joined Cisco and served as VP/GM of the Policy Management Business Unit.

Founded: December 2011

Funding: In May 2013, Sequoia Capital and Greylock Partners invested $20 million in a Series B round, bringing total funding to $26.5 million.

Why they're on this list: Skyhigh Networks had a good year in 2013, securing a hefty funding round in May and releasing Skyhigh Secure, an end-to-end cloud security solution, in August.

Skyhigh's free Cloud Risk Assessment discovers and quantifies an enterprise's cloud usage, providing complete visibility into all IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS cloud services used by employees. Skyhigh then delivers a risk assessment for all the cloud services used by employees based on 30 attributes across data, user, device, service and business categories. This helps organizations isolate potential data leaks, security breaches, and non-compliance with regulatory and internal policies from the use of cloud services.

The risk assessment tool feeds into Skyhigh Secure, which provides security and control of the cloud lifecycle. Skyhigh Secure offers contextual access control, application auditing, encryption, data loss prevention (DLP), and cloud-to-cloud access control.

Customers include Cisco, Diebold, Equinix, and Torrance Memorial Medical Center.

Competitive Landscape: Skyhigh competes with Netskope, but expect to see several startups emerge from stealth mode in 2014.

10. SnoopWall

What they do: Provide antispyware/antimalware "counterveillance" software that detects and blocks remote control, spying and eavesdropping on computers, tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices.

Headquarters: Nashua, N.H.

CEO: Gary Miliefsky. He was formerly founder and CTO of NetClarity.

Founded: 2013

Funding: SnoopWall is currently backed by an undisclosed amount of angel funding.

Why they're on this list: Cyberintrusions are getting more worrisome by the day. Not only do you have to worry about overseas hackers, but now being concerned that the NSA is snooping on you doesn't get you labeled as crazy. Moreover, zero-day malware, which is undetected by most current cybersecurity solutions, often infiltrates devices when users install apps they believe to be trustworthy.

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SnoopWall flags and prevents cyberthreats, acting as a "port authority gatekeeper" to prevent access to high-risk data ports, including webcams, microphones, GPS, USB and other points of entry that are susceptible to becoming infected with malicious code.

Competitive Landscape: SnoopWall is uniquely positioned for now. However, after SnoopWall made a big splash at DEMO Fall 2013, expect to see other antimalware providers add similar features to their suites.

Jeff Vance is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who focuses on next-generation technology trends. Follow him on Twitter @ JWVance. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn.

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This story, "10 Cloud Security Startups to Watch in 2014" was originally published by CIO.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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