Startup Looks to Solve Identity Crisis

Security specialist Caymas Systems emerges from stealth with a range of identity-management gateways

October 12, 2004

2 Min Read
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Security startup Caymas Systems emerged from two years in stealth mode today with $37 million in funding and a range of access gateways (see Caymas Bags $37M, Launches Products).

Caymass area of expertise is identity management, which means ensuring that only designated users, both internal and external, can access specific systems and applications.

This is a topic of increasing importance to enterprises, as online identity theft, or "phishing," as it is known, is already a major problem for many businesses. In addition, companies are under pressure to meet the data privacy requirements of legislation such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).

As a result, identity management is fast emerging as a hot technology area. Last week Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) (NYSE: CA) acquired Caymas's rival Netegrity for $430 million. Clearly, there is money to be made from identity-management technology (see CA Nets Netegrity for $430M).

So, who are the people behind Caymas? The company was founded in 2002 by Terence Brown and Bob Bortolotto, former execs at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and optical-transport specialist Cerent Corporation. Brown is now Caymas’s CEO and Bortolotto is vice president of hardware engineering and systems. For the record, Cerent was acquired by Cisco for $7 billion in 1999.On the financial side, funding has come from Redpoint Ventures and ComVentures as well as from Caymas’s own management team.

The product line unveiled today includes three gateway devices: the 220, which is aimed at SMBs; the 318, which is targeted at medium to large enterprises; and the 525 for enterprise-class users. Up at the high end, the 525 can support up to 2,500 concurrent users and a throughput of 1 Gigabit per second, according to Caymas.

Built around the Petaluma, California-based firm’s own silicon and its CaymOS operating system, the gateways are being touted as a way to merge internal and external systems access. This means that the same controls could be applied to users accessing resources remotely over HTTP, over SSL, or from within the LAN, the vendor says. The devices are also sold at a flat price, which means that there are no additional fees per user or even per feature.

But the key weapon in the Caymas armory, according to Brown, is speed of delivery. Depending on the customer, the sales cycle on the access gateways is between 45 and 60 days. This means that Caymas could break even much faster than security vendors selling into the service-provider market via resellers, he says.

According to Caymas execs, some of the gateways will be resold via carriers, although the majority will be sold direct to enterprise customers. So far, Caymas has racked up 30 users, including Mount Sinai Hospital, the University of Montreal, and Hormel Foods.— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading and James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-gen Data Center Forum

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