Cloud broker Netskope raises $75 million for analytics based security enforcement services

Secure cloudCloud security firm Netskope has received $75 million to develop its policy enforcement systems for cloud applications.

Describing itself as a cloud access security broker, Netskope raised the investment in a Series D funding round led by Iconiq Capital. Existing investors Accel Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and the Social + Capital Partnership also participated.

Netskope monitors and enforces policy on data shared across cloud applications. It aims to give companies an instant view of the use of their data and creates plans of action to prevent betrayed confidences and information leakage. In May 2014 investors staked $35 million in a Series C round of funding. It total, the company has raised $130 million in investment.

Data protection for cloud based apps is an emerging niche in the security market which, according to analysis by Gartner, has a market value of $5 billion. The new genre of Cloud Access Security Brokers solves problems that cannot be addressed by traditional firewalls, according to Gartner.

Netskope’s founder claims that the company differentiates itself by being more precise, and going deeper into the data. This, says founder and CEO Sanjay Beri, helps customers gain better understanding of their data’s exposure.

While cloud apps give the workforce better tools and flexibility, the IT department has to manage the proliferation of data shared across the masses of unsanctioned cloud apps, said Beri. Since there are often ten times more cloud apps in use than IT departments are aware of, this is creating a massive security problem, which Netskope aims to solve, according to Beri.

“Only Netskope provides surgical visibility and control for all cloud apps, whether sanctioned by IT or not,” said Beri. Mobile apps in particular will create security problems for enterprises, as the bring your own device trend continues, according to Netskope, which offers a data loss prevention system that examines 400 different file types across over 3000 different data identifiers. Its own internal figures suggest that 90 per cent of the apps used by its enterprise customers are unsanctioned and not considered as enterprise ready. In addition, 13.6 per cent of those app users have had their account credentials compromised.

The new capital will be used to expand sales, marketing, customer success, engineering and research operations worldwide, adding to its current 250 person headcount. New data centres are planned for Asia-Pacific and Europe to meet growing demand.