UPDATED 15:06 EST / JANUARY 05 2022

SECURITY

Zero-trust security startup Xage raises $30M funding round

Xage Security Inc., a startup helping companies such as utilities and logistics firms improve the cybersecurity of their infrastructure, has closed a $30 million funding round.

Announced today, the funding round was led by Piva with participation from more than a half-dozen other investors. Xage has raised a total of $54 million since launching. 

Companies such as utilities rely not only on on-premises data center gear and cloud infrastructure to support their operations, but also a growing number of “internet of things” devices such as industrial sensors. A company’s employees often require the ability to access the IoT devices that it uses. Engineers at a manufacturing facility, for example, might need to log into a malfunctioning production line system to carry out troubleshooting.

Facilitating device access for employees requires companies to create secure network connections to their IoT systems. That can involve a significant amount of work in complex information technology environments. Moreover, data from IoT systems often has to be moved to other systems for processing, which creates yet more cybersecurity challenges.

Xage promises to ease several of the tasks involved in securing a company’s infrastructure. The startup’s zero-trust security platform, Xage Fabric, uses network tunneling techniques to allow a company’s employees to securely access IoT systems. Network tunneling turns the data traffic being sent to a system, such as an IoT device, into a form that’s difficult for hackers to compromise even if they gain access to the infrastructure through which the data travels.

Historically, securing connections to IoT systems often required using multiple specialized products. Many firms rely on virtual private network, or VPN, tools to facilitate employee access to important systems. Other companies use so-called jump boxes, specialized servers that perform cybersecurity tasks. Xage says its platform reduces or removes the need for several of the complex technologies historically required to facilitate secure system access.

“While zero trust can be difficult to achieve, particularly in operational environments with a mix of legacy and modern assets, the Xage Fabric was engineered with this complexity in mind,” said Xage Chief Executive Officer Duncan Greatwood. “It’s bringing zero trust to operations in space, e-commerce logistics, energy, utilities, transportation, and beyond.”

Data sharing is another use case that the startup targets. Xage Fabric allows companies to create a set of cybersecurity rules defining how an important dataset may be used. From there, Xage Fabric can ensure that the cybersecurity rules are enforced even when the dataset is moved to a different system.

Xage’s latest $30 million funding round follows a strong quarter for the startup. In the last three months of 2021, Xage says that it delivered more software deployments than during all of 2020. Xage’s momentum was driven in part by the growth of its partner ecosystem: Xage increased the number of partners it works with by a factor of five in 2021.

The startup will use its funding round to hire more employees. Xage reportedly expects to grow its workforce from more than 40 employees today to about 90, or potentially more, by year’s end.

Image: Xage

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