BlastWave | June 17, 2022
BlastWave, a zero-trust networking solution provider that reduces the cost and complexity of remote access VPN management, today announced enhancements to its zero-trust security software solution, BlastShield™. The enhancements include added security capability for the three main cloud service providers, identity manager unification, Azure gateway security integration and easy bulk onboarding. BlastWave sees these updates as increasingly important with the global workforce shift to remote cloud environments on multiple vendor platforms.
The recent update allows BlastShield users to link with hybrid cloud network providers like AWS, Google, and the most recent addition, Azure, in one secure environment without forcing a user to rely on the respective security measures of each provider. This means users can have workloads distributed across provider environments but only one user authentication system. The update continues BlastWave's mission of convenient, cutting-edge cybersecurity, all while offering enhanced protection within identity management systems. Most importantly, users can take advantage of BlastShield's heightened speed and functionality, two vital features in multi-functional, cloud environments.
This latest update also adds support for gateway security in Azure environments, expanding on BlastShield's previous gateway security capabilities in GCP, AWS, ESXi and COTS hardware systems. This new gateway security integration increases functionality for Azure users, allowing them to rely on password-less authentication instead of dated VPN security measures within their cloud-based Azure environments.
BlastShield's latest update streamlines bulk onboarding, a typically arduous process, leveraging customers' SSO functionality. This update's features rely on an industry-standard API, System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM), designed to simplify the management of user identities in cloud-based services as well as applications. It enables the automatic exchange of user information between identity domains, eliminating the insecure provisioning of identity managers when onboarding large numbers of users in distributed cloud environments. Identity managers have conventionally suffered from potential exposure to credential theft, SIM jacking, and other threat vectors. BlastShield's update addresses these vulnerabilities without hampering the convenience of identity managers.
"BlastShield's latest update enhances our proven security mechanisms with single sign-on identity management tools and offers simplified bulk onboarding. "Many competitors are focusing more on endpoint security in these hybrid cloud environments, but we're offering a macro-level security approach that combines the convenience of identity management systems like Okta and One Identity with the proven agile security of BlastShield's network-level ZTNA and microsegmentation."
Michael Bacon, BlastWave Solution Engineer
The recent software update and resulting functionality are automatic for new subscribers and can be implemented with the click of a button in the BlastShield interface for current professional and enterprise customers.
"In the past, cybersecurity may have elicited groans from providers, largely due to its perceived inconvenience. This update lends BlastWave's proven security stack to the login convenience offered by established identity managers," said Mel Knight, Brier and Thorn CISO. "Once again, whether through bulk onboarding via secure provisioning or enhanced Azure environment security, BlastWave continues to imbue existing technologies with their patented, proven ZTNA security solution. We are excited for our customers to experience this update's improved, secure convenience, bulk onboarding, and multi-vendor cloud security."
Founded by former executives and technologists from Apple and Cisco, BlastWave is taking a fundamentally different approach to security aimed at protecting privacy and connected devices from cyberattacks. BlastWave's patented product, BlastShield™️, is an integrated, zero-trust stack that combines state-of-the-art passwordless multi-factor authentication with high-performance, resilient encrypted connectivity and built-in microsegmentation. BlastWave is backed by Rocket Strategies, Lucas Venture Group, and Millennium Investments. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.
Veza | June 27, 2022
Veza, the data security platform built on the power of authorization, announced an investment in their Series C funding round from Blackstone Innovations Investments, along with participation from previous investors. To date, Veza has raised a total of $110 million from top-tier investors including Accel, Bain Capital, Ballistic Ventures, GV, Norwest Venture Partners, True Ventures, and others. Blackstone has also selected Veza to help modernize its data security and access governance.
Veza empowers organizations to address today’s greatest cybersecurity challenge: who can and should take what action on what data. As the world increasingly moves online, our changing behaviors are driving a transformational shift toward multi-cloud data systems, apps, computing, and infrastructure. This shift creates a complex, distributed web of human identities, accounts, apps, services, and access points that are constantly changing and susceptible to vulnerabilities. To address this, Veza takes a comprehensive approach that pulls together authorization data from disparate systems, giving customers a single source of truth to manage data access and controls.
“Having a world-class cybersecurity program that protects our brand, reputation, investors and intellectual property is of paramount importance to our firm, and we are continuing to incorporate innovative technology solutions,” says Adam Fletcher, Chief Security Officer at Blackstone. “Our team is always looking for ways to develop a more comprehensive view of access across all of our applications and cloud infrastructure to allow us to modernize the firm’s access controls. We are excited to partner with Veza to help us accomplish this.”
“Blackstone Innovations Investments is committed to investing in cutting-edge technology companies that we believe will have a meaningful impact on Blackstone, our portfolio companies, and the broader industry. We look forward to working with Veza and their impressive leadership team as they enter this next phase of growth,” comments Stevi Petrelli, Head of Blackstone Innovations Investments.
“Institutions across multiple industries view Blackstone as an example of exceptional technology deployment and cybersecurity expertise. “Veza has greatly benefited from Blackstone’s product feedback and market insights. We are thrilled to work with Blackstone’s Security team to further modernize data security for their hybrid and multi-cloud environment.”
Tarun Thakur, CEO and Co-Founder of Veza
Additional investment in Veza comes from notable entrepreneurs including Dheeraj Pandey, Co-founder & CEO, DevRev and former CEO, Nutanix, and Lars Dalgaard, Founder Luv Ventures, Founder & Former CEO, SuccessFactors.
“Authorization is the source of truth when it comes to understanding who has access to what,” says Dheeraj Pandey, Co-Founder and CEO of DevRev. “Understanding authorization at scale is one of the hardest problems to address and I am excited to watch team Veza bring on a new era of identity, rooted in authorization. Veza is defining authorization as a standard for protecting data against ransomware and other forms of data breach.”
“Entrepreneurs will tell you that company building is one of the hardest, yet rewarding experiences, with real potential to make an impact,” says Lars Dalgaard, Founder Luv Ventures, Founder & Former CEO SuccessFactors. “When evaluating any company, I look for deep technical breakthrough for a massive market opportunity, deal composition and company traction, and passion amongst founders. And, I’m very excited to be partnering with Tarun and Veza on the mission to build an iconic company that will revolutionize the data security industry for decades to come.”
Veza is the data security platform built on the power of authorization. Our platform is purpose-built for hybrid multi-cloud environments to help you use and share your data safely. Veza makes it easy to understand, manage, and control who can and should take what action on what data. We organize authorization metadata across identity providers, data systems, cloud service providers, and applications — all to address the toughest data security challenges of the modern era. Founded in 2020, the company is funded by top-tier investors including Accel, Bain Capital, Ballistic Ventures, Blackstone, GV, Norwest Venture Partners, and True Ventures. To learn more, please visit us at veza.com. Many Fortune 500, Fortune 1000 and smaller organizations use its data security platform for protection against ransomware, modernizing access governance for critical data and apps, and implementing data lake security for Snowflake and other solutions.
Cerby | June 28, 2022
Cerby officially launched today with the world’s first security platform for unmanageable applications and an approach that enhances security practices by empowering both employees and security teams. The Cerby Zero Trust architecture takes on the challenges of unmanageable applications in the shadow IT universe—technologies that are selected and onboarded by business units outside the purview and visibility of the IT department, or don’t support industry standards like SAML for authentication and SCIM for user provisioning. The Cerby offering is very different from other options on the market because it moves security automation capabilities into the hands of business users—in effect, it balances empowerment and autonomy with security and productivity.
The company, which has been operating in stealth mode since 2020, already has early customers—including Fox, L’Oréal, MiSalud, Dentsu, Televisa, and Wizeline—where the technology is used to address common application liabilities efficiently while facilitating collaboration. It also announced today $12 million in seed funding from Ridge Ventures, Bowery Capital, Okta Ventures, Salesforce Ventures and others, bringing total funding to $15.5 million.
“Our goal at Cerby is simple but sweeping: To increase productivity for enterprises by empowering employees to use the technologies they prefer while automating compliance and security,” said Co-Founder and CEO, Belsasar Lepe. “In this era of IT consumerization, employee choice and enterprise security are not mutually exclusive—with the right tools and strategies, they go hand-in-hand. When business professionals get real autonomy, security becomes everyone’s responsibility, rather than just one of many priorities for the IT department. The Cerby platform for unmanageable applications enables organizations to boost efficiency, comply with existing policies and reduce exposure to cyberattacks—it’s truly a win-win-win.”
Cerby’s enrollment-based platform combines proprietary technology, robotic process automation (RPA) and seamless integrations with identity providers like Okta and Azure AD. This powerful functionality enables the platform to understand commonly used SaaS applications in a business context, and automate security policies before they lead to breaches.
The scale of the problem is undeniable, in part because while employees choose the applications, they don’t pay for them. Analyst firms, such as Everest Group report that shadow IT spending represents 50% or more of the overall IT outlay in large enterprises. Meanwhile, teams preferring application autonomy are twice as likely to prioritize productivity over security.
Cerby’s own research confirms this trend. The company just commissioned its own study of this critical subject, and the preliminary findings show how much attitudes have hardened with regard to employee choices. The comprehensive study of over 500 business professionals in North America and the UK employed by companies with more than $100M in annual revenue, conducted in partnership with Osterman Research, reveals that a staggering 91% of respondents believe they should have full control over the applications they purchase. On a related note, 52% want the company or IT department to “just get out of the way,” and when employers disallow applications desired by end users, respondents say it will “negatively affect” the way work gets done.
To be clear, these perspectives are not emerging from a vacuum. More than three quarters of the companies surveyed, 78%, have policies in place regarding which applications employees can and cannot use, and just over half the respondents report knowledge or experience of particular applications being disallowed. These actions don’t necessarily go down well with employees: 68% ask for an alternative solution, preferably one that is stress-free and automated; 35% seek an alternative of their own, while stating that it negatively affects the way work is done; and 42% “demand a good reason” for the ban.
“We chose Cerby because we needed a secure and centralized place to manage access to our paid social accounts. “Because Cerby can seamlessly integrate with our organization’s single sign-on technology and also connect to the social platforms’ APIs, we are able to create organizational efficiencies by granting and removing access within one place. Additionally, the automated access removal of employees who have left the company provides a level of security we did not previously have.”
Nina Donnard, AVP, Paid Social, L’Oreal
The issue of unmanageable applications within the organization is particularly sensitive because it puts two forces—employee autonomy and corporate security—in direct conflict. The C-suite—enterprise CIOs, CMOs, CISOs—wants security to be frictionless; when security teams take a heavy-handed approach, they often end up blocking key applications and negatively affecting productivity. This encompasses three core problems, which are sometimes contradictory. They feature: Brand risk (including errors, cyberattacks, and fraud); non-compliance (corporate policy, contracts, and industry/government regulations); and inefficient processes (insufficient resources; inconsistent, error-prone access reviews; extraneous steps and wasted time).
Cerby steps into this chasm with numerous capabilities to plug security, compliance and productivity gaps. For example, end users can log in securely to any application, even those that don’t support SSO natively, store log-in data, and share this information securely with collaborators. At the same time, IT and security teams can set policy at the application, team, and company level. Throughout this process, Cerby is actively monitoring connected applications to ensure they are securely configured to meet corporate security standards for two factor authentication, password complexity and many other commonly missed security settings.
“I love that Cerby solves a problem every CIO faces: unmanageable applications,” said Yousuf Khan, Partner at Ridge Ventures and former CIO. “When non-IT employees use unauthorized applications, they might be gaining productivity, but they are also unlocking a Pandora’s box of security vulnerabilities. The pandemic only made it worse: 71% of users in the US now acquire their own applications to do their jobs. Cerby is the first solution I’ve seen that significantly reduces the risk of these unmanageable applications by applying zero trust principles and automating the entire application lifecycle. The best part of it is that it’s not a top-down, managerial edict: Employees become an active and motivated part of the solution. Business professionals get the power to choose their applications, productivity gets a boost, and the company ensures security and compliance–everyone wins. Other cybersecurity products demand enforcement; Cerby encourages enrollment. This is the best way to enhance employee trust and increase productivity.”
The technology is designed to help teams in diverse disciplines use the applications they choose while ensuring security. For example, marketing teams can now securely use any social platforms they prefer—Cerby provides a single place to add and remove access for employees and third-party agencies instead of signing into multiple social accounts and sharing passwords. In other fields, such as finance, Cerby provides an easy way for CFOs and their teams to securely manage access to bank accounts and credit lines without having to share passwords.
Cerby delivers the world’s first platform built to positively guide employees' security behaviors no matter which applications they use. We protect brands around the world, including some of the most recognizable businesses, by taking an approach that empowers both employees and security teams, using Zero Trust principles. Our proprietary technology uses robotic process automation to understand applications in a business context and automatically enforces security best practices before misconfigurations turn into breaches. Cerby is a must-have for technology executives and their teams to protect the brand, stay secure and increase productivity.
Whistic | May 23, 2022
Today, Whistic, the proactive vendor security network for both buyers and sellers, announced support for the Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP) framework, a security baseline developed by Google in a collaborative effort with Okta, Slack, and Salesforce.
Until the introduction of MVSP, there was no commonly accepted baseline available among security professionals that indicated the importance of security controls. With MVSP, vendors can demonstrate to their customers that they are meeting, at a minimum, the baseline of security as outlined by some of the industry’s top security professionals.
“We believe a vendor-neutral security baseline is an important step in establishing minimum acceptable security requirements for enterprise software and services. “By assuring enterprise solutions include the core security building blocks, we can work to reduce third-party risk, and promote security as a key part of the product development lifecycle.”
Chris John Riley, Senior Security Engineer at Google
Vendors that utilize Whistic to share security documentation via the MVSP help streamline and accelerate the security review process for their customers, helping them to rapidly understand the vendor’s security posture.
“Enabling companies to showcase their security posture using the MVSP and other industry frameworks is a key step toward ensuring transparent relationships between vendors and their customers,” stated Nick Sorensen, Whistic CEO. “In addition to announcing support of MVSP, we recently launched Whistic Basic Profile that enables any business regardless of size to proactively share their security posture with customers and publish it to the Whistic Vendor Security Network for free.”
Basic Profile allows vendors to self-assess against industry standard frameworks, including MVSP. It also includes a limited number of Profile shares, and the ability to publish to the Whistic Trust Catalog, enabling Whistic customers to conduct Zero-Touch Assessments of the vendor’s security posture.
“Okta has already added MVSP to our Whistic Profile and we look forward to seeing more and more of our vendors adopt this baseline in their Profiles,” said Gen Buckley, Director, Customer Assurance Customer Trust at Okta Security and founding committee member of MVSP. “We are always looking for ways to streamline our vendor security reviews and drive a more secure ecosystem, and MVSP helps accomplish that while also promoting transparency and collaboration between vendors and customers.”
Marat Vyshegorodtsev, Enterprise Security JAPAC representative at Salesforce adds, “Organizations of all sizes often purchase dozens of software products managed by third parties. The onboarding process alone can take weeks or months, especially when it comes to vetting the security posture for each. MVSP helps solve this—it standardizes this process and eliminates overhead, complexity, and confusion for both parties while ensuring the minimum-security requirements.”
Located in the heart of the Silicon Slopes in Utah, Whistic is the network for assessing, publishing, and sharing vendor security information. The Whistic Vendor Security Network accelerates the vendor assessment process by enabling businesses to access and evaluate a vendor’s Whistic Profile and create trusted connections that last well beyond the initial assessment. Make security your competitive advantage and join businesses like Airbnb, Okta, Betterment, and Atlassian who are leveraging Whistic to modernize their vendor security programs.