The money might sound like peanuts next to, say, the $4 billion offer Microsoft supposedly made for Docker, as SDxCentral recently reported. But then again, Twistlock is at a much earlier stage; the San Francisco-based company has 12 employees, most of them in Israel.
But that doesn’t stop Twistlock from playing up its status as a leader (in terms of age, at least) in container security. “In the container space, we really are the biggest one so far,” says Chenxi Wang, chief strategy officer.
Twistlock’s software can be thought of as security hardening for containers, checking them in development for known vulnerabilities. It also watches containers in production to make sure their behavior stays within policy guidelines.
Twistlock can analyze the containers while in development and confidently draw a picture of how they should behave in production. That’s a byproduct of containers’ nature. Containers can be considered immutable; they aren’t necessarily meant to live long and don’t get updated repeatedly. That’s in contrast to the environment even in virtual machines, where things can change all the time, Wang says.
That predictability makes containers “better for security than not,” Wang says, echoing a conversation SDxCentral had with Twistlock CEO Ben Bernstein at last spring’s RSA Conference.
By now, of course, Twistlock is far from the only company focusing on container security. For example, Aqua (formerly Scalock) make similar claims about overseeing containers from development through production. Aqua announced general availability in May; Twistlock has already been shipping and claims customers including Wix and Salesforce.com subsidiary, SalesforceIQ.
Given that security is likely to be a major topic for containers for some time, and that big tech companies are scouting for ways to get more involved in containers, it’s not surprising that Twistlock has received some acquisition offers.
“We have been approached a few times, some of them very early-stage, just sort of testing whether we’d go. Others are more purposeful,” Wang says. “At this point, to become a business unit inside a larger company and to adhere to somebody else’s strategy may not be the right thing for us.”