Polar Security gets VC seed cash

Israeli startup Polar Security officially emerges from stealth with $8.5 million seed funding to build its technology for automatically discovering and securing  businesses’ managed, unmanaged and shadow data.

Polar Security’s release says “It is nearly impossible to see, follow and protect managed and unmanaged data throughout a company’s workloads. Even more problematic, in their push for speed, developers unintentionally create complex trails of “shadow data” — data that security and compliance teams don’t know exists — which presents a significant threat.” Such shadow data can include extremely sensitive business-dependent information, including IaaS databases, logs, backups, debug dumps, and data within operational cloud services.

A statement from Guy Shanny, Polar’s co-founder and CEO, said “To solve data security in the cloud, you must focus on the crown jewels — the data stores holding sensitive data — as fast as developers create new data. We built Polar to help companies automate their data security across known and unknown data stores, to continuously prevent cloud data vulnerabilities and compliance violations at any scale — what was until now an unsolvable challenge.”

The funding round was led by Glilot Capital Partners with participation from IBI Tech Fund, as well as angel investors, including:

  • Jim Reavis, co-founder & CEO of Cloud Security Alliance;
  • Tim Belcher, former RSA CTO;
  • Ann Johnson, former president of Qualys; 
  • Tom Noonan, co-founder & CEO of Internet Security Systems and VP & GM of IBM Security.

Kobi Samboursky, founder and managing partner at Glilot Capital Partners, justified his firm’s investment. “As basic as it seems, many companies don’t know where their data stores are, what’s inside that data, and where that data is going. This is what excites us about Polar Security. By ensuring data stores are secured as well as in compliance with the company’s regulatory policies as soon as they are created, Polar’s technology will become a foundational piece of every CISO’s toolkit moving forward.”

Existing supplier VC-backed startup Securiti offers shadow data discovery as part of its AI-powered data privacy and security technology. It was started up in November 2018, and has pulled in $81 million in four rounds of funding, including funding from Cisco Investments in April last year. It claims its product suite is the world’s first PrivacyOps platform that helps automate all major functions needed for privacy compliance in one place.

Comment

Polar Security is building technology to discover data that an organisation doesn’t know it has — shadow data — and then secure it and ensure regulatory compliance. Its use represents another cost for its customers and will be justified by the avoidance of fines for not being compliant and, harder to cost-justify, prevention of data loss.

No business knows the extent of its shadow data and Polar will have to discover a fair chunk of it to justify its use, particularly its ongoing use, in an as-a-service deal for example. How a company can not know about backups seems a little far-fetched but, presumably, Polar has examples. And if it can bring management discipline to a data Wild West, then that will be a good thing.