Security

Network security suite Catbird says the market is too fragmented, gets $10M

Above: These animals are pissed you tried to get into their network.

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Catbird knows traditional network security is not going to work in the virtual world. The company, which received $10 million in funding today, is frustrated by the fragmented way security software for the data center is being distributed.

“Today if you go out and look for ‘vulnerability management,’ there are 12 large companies that just do vulnerability management,” said Catbird chief executive Edmundo Costa, in an interview with VentureBeat. “In my opinion this is part of the problem that we have int he security space … features have become products.”

Catbird provides, what Costa says, are the four main security needs for contemporary data centers: a firewall, intrusion detection, vulnerability management, and network access control. The company partners with VMWare, which has its own security suite, and runs on top of these protections. VMWare doesn’t see Catbird as competition, according to Costa, because two companies come together to discuss how they might complement each other.

Costa says his company is stronger because all four of these products are offered together, as opposed to a lot of fragmentation we see in the security industry today.

“What we’ve done is combine all four of those network controls into one product and that is a huge feat,” he says. “It’s very difficult to do, and we’ve put it into a virtual machine and it runs as one product.”

The data center has changed. Much of the physical equipment that once lived in these centers have turned to “virtualized” software and with that comes a need for a change in the way we secure that data. Costa summarized it best: not too long ago, if you wanted to change the network configuration of your servers, you needed physical access to those servers. Depending on your company, you could have armed guards standing outside the data center doors to make sure no one without the right credentials could get in. Today, it takes only a few clicks on VMWare’s website.

But, Catbird isn’t the only one to be doing virtualized network security software. TrendMicro provides a similar solution. Costa, however, sees one key area that sets Catbird apart. It focuses heavily on compliance reporting for big companies in industries such as finance and healthcare where compliance audits come often. Costa explained that last week he spoke with the company’s biggest customer, an unnamed financial services business, whose chief security offer said he has to handle 46 audits a year. The reason he stays with Catbird? Because it provides automated compliance reports.

Catbird was created in 2007 and is headquartered in Scotts Valley, Calif. Medina Capital led this round, which is a follow-on to its $2 million first round of funding announced in December 2012.

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