Skyport Raises $30M as It Gets Ready for Security Platform Debut

By Sean Michael Kerner  |  Posted 2015-04-16 Print this article Print
Security Enhanced Linux

Skyport execs did not provide full details about its offering but said SELinux is part of the platform to help secure converged infrastructure.

Security vendor Skyport Systems announced on April 15 that it has raised $30 million in a Series B round of financing, bringing the company's total funding to $37 million. The new funding round was led by Index Ventures and included the participation of Intel Capital and Sutter Hill Ventures.

"The goal of the company is to build hyper-secured infrastructure for the most valuable assets that an enterprise has," Stefan Dyckerhoff, CEO of Skyport Systems and managing director at Sutter Hill Ventures, told eWEEK.

Skyport has made progress on its technology and is now working with customers to get the platform into deployment, Dyckerhoff said, adding that now is the time for the company to build its go-to-market operations and support functions.

However, the company is still in its stealth mode and is not providing full details on its technology at this point, Dyckerhoff said.

Doug Gourlay, corporate vice president at Skyport, did share some insight into what goes into the company's platform. The Skyport solution fits into a new and unique category of IT security, he said.

"No one has ever linked security back to the compute infrastructure; they link security to the network edge or to applications or operating systems," Gourlay said.

When it comes to data breaches, the root cause is typically not because an attacker was able to break into a single server, but rather because the attacker was able to exploit core infrastructure such as single sign-on or a management system, Gourlay said. Directory system security, including Microsoft ActiveDirectory and access controls, are among the capabilities that Skyport helps enable.

The Skyport system makes use of both open-source as well as proprietary technology. Gourlay said that Skyport has done some intellectual-property legal filings to help protect the innovations that the company has been building.

"When you look at the core architecture of our system, we believe it should be as dependent on open-source and open standards as possible," Gourlay said. "That improves the overall security posture by having many eyeballs looking at it."

One example of an open-source technology that Skyport is using is Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux), a security innovation that first came to Linux in 2004, thanks to a code contribution from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). SELinux provides mandatory access controls for policy and is integrated into multiple Linux distributions today, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Gourlay noted that SELinux can be difficult to work with, but Skyport has done work to integrate it with its system. If Skyport is able to take technologies that have come from the academic and the open-source communities and make them more approachable and consumable, that's a big win, he added.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.


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