Bitglass raises $45M to help companies defend cloud data


The growing amount of data that companies keep in the cloud represents a major target for hackers, but such information can be difficult to protect since it’s hosted on remote hardware operated by third parties.

To circumvent the problem, chief information officers are adopting specialized security tools from the likes of Bitglass Inc. The four-year-old startup today announced that it has raised $45 million to meet the growing demand for its technology. Australia’s government-backed Future Fund led the round while New Enterprise Associates, Norwest Venture Partners and other participants from the firm’s previous $25 million round made returning contributions.

Bitglass’ total outside funding now stands at $80 million. The startup plans to spend the capital on widening global adoption of its flagship reverse proxy, which serves as an intermediary between a company’s employees and its cloud services. Every attempt to access or modify business files is routed through the platform and gets evaluated in real time based on various security considerations.

A company looking to keep better track of mobile workers, for instance, could set Bitglass to check requests that originate from outside its office buildings more thoroughly than internal activity. It’s also possible to customize the vetting process using more specific conditions such as the role of users within an organization and what services they have access to.

After Bitglass verifies that a user action meets their company’s preconfigured security policies, its algorithms assess the request based on past activity patterns. The service tracks how workers interact with their data over time and creates a behavioral model that is used as a reference for spotting suspicious actions. Its findings are then correlated with data from external threat intelligence feeds to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.

From there, Bitglass brings positive hits to the attention of administrations via a built-in notification system. Moreover, information technology departments can take advantage of its service’s traffic scanning capabilities to identify cloud products that users are accessing without permission. This feature is designed to combat the phenomenon of “Shadow IT,” wherein workers sign up to a service on their own without the necessary approvals and precautions.

Bitglass claims that its value proposition has attracted hundreds of customers from “every major vertical” over the past four years. The startup’s service is especially popular in regulated industries such as healthcare and finance that have strict legal requirements for protecting off-premise data.

Despite today’s funding, Bitglass can expect a tough road ahead. The startup faces competition from both established security providers and fellow up-and-comers such as Vera Inc. that provide competing tools for protecting cloud-based data.

Image courtesy of Bitglass