Skyport Systems is extending its platform with a new Hybrid Cloud Edge offering, providing organizations with secure cloud application policy management capabilities.
Skyport Systems is a security vendor that first emerged from stealth three years ago in May 2015 and has raised $67 million in venture funding to date. The core promise behind Skyport is secure hardware attestation, with the company’s SkySecure server hardware platform.
“We have added new functionality based on how customers are using our products,” Art Gilliland, CEO of Skyport Systems, told eWEEK. “It has been an interesting ride for a company like ours with a secure platform, finding the places where people want to start using it.”
Gilliland said that one of the challenges many companies face is how to move to the cloud faster. The specific challenge the Skyport Hybrid Cloud Edge offering seeks to solve is how to make the edge of the network more agile to fit the modern DevOps workflow. In a traditional networking environment, firewalls act as chokepoint for traffic, which ends up slowing an agile move to the cloud.
“We are a secure virtualization platform, that platform allows people to deploy gateways to connect apps to the cloud,” Gilliland said.
Gilliland explained that Skyport is cloud managed and can separate the roles within the system. As such, the networking person can run the system at the edge and self-service app policy control can be delegated to the app developers.
“We’re essentially creating ‘swim lanes’ for application policies,” Gilliland said.
The Skysecure Server platform on which the Hybrid Cloud Edge offering is based, operates in a shared responsibility model. Gilliland explained that Skyport is responsible for the hardware, firmware and all the security controls while customers are responsible for the applications they deploy on the gateway and the policies they want to enforce.
A core promise of the Skysecure Server platform is secure hardware attestation, that aims to provide a guarantee that a physical server system has never been tampered with or infected by some form of malware.
“When you’re doing something that is managed as a cloud service, it’s important to know that the server is clean, that’s why attestation is important,” Gilliland said. “For us, it’s a way of guaranteeing that we don’t get attacked by our own servers.”
Gilliland added that having a secure hardware platform also means that it can be placed in a network with confidence. He said that Skyport customers now typically have a large edge router, then a Skyport platform plugging directly into the network.
“We are essentially eliminating the requirement for firewalls,” Gilliland said. “Customers still use firewall, but they only need dumb firewalls that block the basic traffic, because most of the application intelligence is happening within our platform.”
The idea of having a secure gateway technology to enable access to the cloud is a challenge that multiple vendors are tackling with Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) technology. Gilliland said that CASB works well to solve the problem of connecting users to cloud services.
“For things like application to application interaction, CASB isn’t ideal,” Gilliland said.
Gilliland became CEO of Skyport in September 2015, after previously helping to lead Hewlett Packard’s security business. Over the course of his tenure at Skyport, he noted that the increasing move to the cloud by companies of all sizes has made Skyport’s technology more relevant.
“Organizations today are more comfortable with the idea of a cloud managed platform,” Gilliland said.