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Funding flows to security startups

The internet of things is packed with potential and fraught with security risk, and that risk is keeping many companies from investing in IoT solutions that could save them millions of dollars. Hardening security for the IoT represents a huge opportunity for companies that can create new approaches, and leading venture capitalists want a piece of the action.

Sequoia Capital and Tenaya Capital recently invested $17 million in Armis, a Silicon Valley startup co-founded by a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces. Yevgeny Dibrov said a new approach to security is needed because it is impossible to put a security agent on all devices in an enterprise.

“The recent botnet attacks like Mirai, Hajime, and Persirai show how new IoT devices are being exploited and attacked,” Dibrov said in a statement. “We built Armis to give enterprises complete visibility into all devices in their environment without requiring an agent. We can stop devices from compromising corporate assets, regardless of whether those devices are managed by IT.”

“The exponential growth of IoT introduces risk that most enterprises are not prepared to handle,” said Gili Raanan of Sequoia Capital. “Yevgeny and Nadir’s strong vision combined with their decision to blend top Israeli engineering talent with sales and marketing executives from Cylance, Intel, McAfee and Symantec set them up for success.”

Cloud access security
The value of the IoT is the data generated by connected devices, and that data almost always needs to move to the cloud to be analyzed. Cloud access security is one of the fastest-growing segments of the security market.

A constellation of venture capitalists recently completed a $100 million investment in cloud access security broker Netskope.
Lightspeed Venture Partners and Accel Partners led the round and were joined by Social Capital, Iconiq Capital, Sapphire Ventures and Geodesic Capital.

“We knew that the traditional security industry would stay glued to the concept of a network perimeter, even though such a concept is obsolete in a world where people access information from on-premises and remote locations and often from a combination of desktops, laptops, and mobile devices, enabling transactions to seamlessly traverse the network, cloud, and web across any endpoint,” said Sanjay Beri, who co-founded Netskope five years ago. The company says its platform is built for the cloud from the ground up.

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