Mojave Raises Millions for Mobile Network Security

The security startup raises $5 million in new funding as it aims to build a network-level cloud.

There are a lot of security threats facing mobile device users, and there is a lot of money on the table for vendors that are trying to provide solutions for that problem. One of those vendors is Mojave Networks, which this week announced a $5 million round of funding to fuel its enterprise-class mobile security offering.

Garrett Larsson, co-founder and CEO of Mojave Networks, told eWEEK that the new funding, which comes from Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) and Sequoia Capital, will be used to accelerate Mojave's product development and to add new staff. Larsson said Mojave has revenue already with "dozens" of paying customers.

"What we do in a nutshell is cloud-based mobile security," Larsson explained. "The overall premise is that we can take all the data from a mobile device and run it through our globally distributed network for analysis."

That analysis includes Web filtering for malicious content, as well as data loss prevention (DLP) for confidential corporate data.

From an infrastructure perspective, Mojave runs its software stack across multiple cloud vendors, including Amazon and Rackspace. The Mojave software does include some open-source components, though Larsson stressed that the core capabilities were all built in-house by Mojave.

Mojave is also building out its own threat intelligence capabilities to help feed its service. Threat intelligence helps the company identify malicious sites and other forms of online malware.

Risk profiling is another core area of focus for Mojave, where the company has patent-pending technology for scanning both Android and iOS applications to identify potential security issues. The risk profiling includes an examination to determine if there is any sort of data leakage risks.

"We run applications in our sandbox, and we profile them," Larsson said. "We look at what they are doing and what the risk is to an enterprise."

The scanning is done in an asynchronous manner, such that it does not impact the performance of the mobile application. The first time Mojave sees a given site or service, it will scan for issues in the background and build a profile. For any future users or subsequent visits to the site or service, protections will already be in place.

The Mojave service also includes dashboard reporting capabilities for enterprises, showing bandwidth usage across all devices as well as threat metrics. Those metrics include statistics into how many pieces of malware were blocked and how many times sensitive data was sent across the network.

There are a number of different ways that an organization can identify sensitive information, according to Larsson. One data type that can be searched for is Social Security numbers, in an effort to prevent unauthorized data leakage.

"So, for example, in a health care organization, if 100 Social Security numbers go out in one piece of content, you can block it and then audit it so the IT administrator will know and take further action if needed," he said.

There are other competitive mobile device security solutions on the market, including ones from such vendors as OpenDNS and Blue Coat. Mojave's competitive differentiation, however, Larsson claims, is that it offers robust network-based mobile security.

Looking forward, Larsson said there is still a lot more to do as he continues to build out and grow the company.

"There are still challenging problems that we can work through," he said. "One area is the reporting area and analytics, and then we're also really thinking about advanced threat detection and how we detect anomalous behavior."

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

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.