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10 Innovative Network Security Startups

  • According to the Ponemon Institute's 2016 Cost of a Data Breach report, a typical enterprise has a 26% chance of experiencing a data breach that involves at least 10,000 records within the next two years. And the cost of recovering from a data breach averages $4 million.

    With potential breach costs so high, organizations are continually striving to improve their network security. But at the same time, attackers are constantly devising new ways to thwart their defenses. In order to defend against those attacks, the security industry needs a steady stream of new ideas for ways to protect corporate networks.

    In this slideshow, we're featuring 10 startups with particularly innovative approaches to network security. Some of them are focused on securing emerging technologies, like the Internet of Things and containers. Some are applying newer ideas like cloud computing, artificial intelligence and crowdsourcing to the security field. One focuses on securing networks against today's new adversaries, particularly advanced persistent threats. And others offer a new twist on concepts that have been around a while, such as endpoint security and isolation.

    Many of these firms have won awards and industry accolades. And they all share a commitment to finding new ways to help organizations keep their networks safe from cyberthreats.

    (Image: the-lightwriter/iStockphoto)

  • Barkly


    Barkly's tagline says that it "stops attacks that hide from antivirus," and that's a pretty good explanation of this endpoint security solution. Instead of looking for known malware signatures, like antivirus software does, it monitors devices, watching for suspicious behavior. When it identifies activity that might be related to malware, it stops attacks before they can spread, and it notifies security personnel. For enterprises, it promises easy, centralized deployment and a management portal for tracking trends and devices. Currently, it is offering early access to its product at reduced prices.

    Headquartered in Boston, Barkly was founded in 2013. It has received $17 million in funding from New Enterprise Associates and Sigma Prime Ventures.

  • Bastille


    Founded in 2014, this startup is focused on one of the trendiest areas of network security: the Internet of Things (IoT). It claims to be "the first and only company to completely secure the enterprise by identifying airborne threats and allowing for preemptive response." It offers a variety of solutions with radio vulnerability protection for the C-suite, facility/campus headquarters, call centers and data centers, as well as threat surveillance counter measures (TSCM).

    Bastille has won an impressive number of awards, including being named as a Gartner Cool Vendor in Cloud and Emerging Technology Security, 2016, a Silver Stevie Award Winner in the 2016 American Business Awards, and a finalist in the RSA Conference Innovation Sandbox Contest 2016.

  • Cato Networks


    Cato Networks focuses on another hot area of IT: cloud computing. It protects perimeter-less networks with a network-security-as-a-service product that integrates networking and security in one package. It aims to simplify security even as enterprise networks become more complex thanks to the proliferation of devices, increases in traffic, cloud computing, mobility and growth of point security solutions.

    Only one year old, the company was co-founded in 2015 by Shlomo Kramer, who previously co-founded Check Point Software founder and Imperva. It has raised $20 million in funding from Aspect Ventures and USVP.

  • Cylance


    Cylance's point of differentiation is that it is using artificial intelligence and machine learning to create next-generation antivirus solutions. The company demos its product, CylancePROTECT, on its "Unbelievable Tour" and claims, "In live demonstrations across the world, we’ve shown how our next-generation antivirus stops over 99% of existing and never before seen malware threats, on average, while going head to head with three industry giants who only stopped less than 40%." The company also offers security services and consulting.

    Founded in 2012, it has raised $177 million from 11 investors in four rounds of funding, and it has won multiple awards, including being named a 2016 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer.

  • Cymmetria


    Most network security products attempt to keep hackers out of the network, but Cymmetria takes a different approach. Its MazeRunner platform is designed to trick hackers who have already gained access into following breadcrumbs and going after decoys, all while gathering information that can be used against the attacker. It's designed to help lead attackers away from real targets while giving security staff more visibility into attacks.

    Cymmetria was founded in 2014 by a team that includes a former VP of cybersecurity strategy at Kaspersky Lab and two veterans of the Israel Defense Forces cybersecurity teams. It has raised $10.6 million in funding, and it make Gartner's list of Cool Vendors in security infrastructure protection for 2016.

  • Cynet


    Over the past several years, the nature of the threats most enterprises face has changed significantly. Instead of protecting primarily against lone hackers looking to do some damage or make a quick buck, organizations now worry about staving off advanced persistent threats (APTs): large organized groups or nation states with the resources and capabilities to do significant harm, often while remaining undetected.

    Cynet focuses on protecting against these APTs. Its product aims to find APT attacks that others miss, as well as auditing and incident response services. It was founded in 2015 and has raised $7 million in funding.

  • Fireglass


    Fireglass's claim to fame is threat isolation. It aims to eliminate the possibility of attacks through web browsers, email and web applications by running potentially malicious content in a secure container. The end user sees a visual feed of the content, but the network and endpoints are protected. The company says end users don't notice the difference, and the solution can be run from a virtual appliance or as a cloud-based service.

    Founded in 2014 by a team with extensive cybersecurity experience, Fireglass has raised $20 million in funding. It was named a Gartner Cool Vendor for 2016, as well as being listed as one of DarkReading's 20 Cybersecurity Startups to Watch in 2016.

  • Menlo Security


    Similar to Fireglass, Menlo takes an isolation approach. Its platform sits between the Internet and endpoints, ensuring that all content that arrives on devices from the web or email is malware-free. Unlike some older isolation technologies, it's a cloud service that doesn't require any software to be deployed on user devices, and it supports all devices, operating systems and browsers.

    Menlo was founded in 2013 by former Juniper Networks employees, and it has raised $35.5 million in two rounds of funding. The company's awards include the Grand Prize Winner Best of Show Award at 2016 Interop Japan, finalist in RSA Conference 2016's Innovation Sandbox Most Innovative Startup Contest, and Forbes' Hottest Cybersecurity Startup in 2015.

  • Synack


    Founded by former NSA workers in 2013, Synack aims to crowdsource security intelligence. It recruits white-hat hackers from around the world to be part of its Red Team. The team looks for vulnerabilities in customers' networks, and Synack augments their capabilities with a technology platform that handles repetitive tasks and allows the solution to scale. Its enterprise product, called Hydra, offers security testing, risk evaluation, remediation and real-time security analytics.

    Synack has earned numerous accolades, including being named to the CNBC Disrupter50 and winning a 2016 Gold Stevie from the American Business Awards. It has raised $34 million in venture capital.