Security firms continue to sprout, watered by investors looking to capitalize on technology that counters security threats. One of the latest is Awake Security, which popped out of stealth mode with more than $30 million in total funding.
The Silicon Valley-based firm (is there really any other place?) has spent the past two years refining its automated data modeling platform. That work was conducted under the financial umbrella of initial investor Greylock Partners and second-round investor Bain Capital Ventures.
Awake Security used its quiet time and funding to develop its security analytics platform that uses machine learning and data science to automate the data analytics process.
The platform uses automation to capture and process data in a network. It leverages patterns, problem solving, and machine learning to build a data model designed to identify and track devices, users, and domains. Real people can then use a “human-friendly vocabulary” to investigate captured data. Results of that human interaction are then captured for use in future data processing and investigations.
Awake explained its platform includes an analytics hub that resides on-premise at an organization or cloud environment, and a back-end system hosted in Awake’s cloud. The back-end system feeds monitoring, software upgrades, and intelligence updates to the analytics hub.
“When it comes time for a security analyst to roll up their sleeves and dive into an incident, the flood of event information from security tools can be more distracting than helpful,” said Eric Ogren, senior security analyst at 451 Research, in a statement. “The network doesn’t lie, so tapping into network data, automating the analysis and presenting it in a way that will help connect the dots will make a significant impact in empowering analysts to more efficiently clear investigations.”
Gartner recently predicted that penetration tests conducted by machine-learning-based platforms will increase from basically none in 2016, to 10 percent by 2020.
“Penetration testing today utilizes some level of automation, but still has a high degree of human involvement,” the firm explained. “However, machine learning has evolved to real-life applications. This means penetration tests can be done at the speed of a machine instead of being restricted to the rate of thinking a human can offer.”
Awake Security said initial testing showed a tenfold productivity improvement. The company noted it has worked with leaders at Fortune 500 companies to refine the platform, with clothing retailer Gap providing a testimonial on Awake’s website.
Awake Security touted the experience of its leadership team in understanding current deficiencies in security models. Those members come from the likes of ArcSight, CipherCloud, Cylance, FireEye, Foundstone, IntruVert, Netwitness, Nicira, and PolyServe.
As part of their investments, Greylock partner Asheem Chandna, and Bain Capital managing director Enrique Salem, have joined Awake’s board of directors.
The Awake Security funding and launch comes on the heels of a number of new investments and deals in the security space.
Security startup Corelight came out of the dark this week, scoring $9.2 million in funding for its network visibility software based on the Bro open-source monitoring framework. Bro garners its name as a reference to George Orwell’s “Big Brother.”
Cisco last week announced plans to acquire Observable Networks for an undisclosed amount. Observable provides cloud-native network forensics security applications, delivered as a service.
Cloud security firm HyTrust noted earlier this month that it raised $36 million in Series E funding. The latest round was led by Advance Venture Partners with participation from existing venture investors Sway Ventures, Epic Ventures, Vanedge Capital, and Trident Capital, and strategic investors Cisco, Fortinet, Intel, and VMware.
HyTrust said it would use some of those new proceeds to help fund its acquisition of DataGravity. The firm created a a virtual appliance designed to identify and classify data and tag workloads to ensure security policy enforcement for data access, encryption, and key management.