Being an IT manager at a big company doesn’t sound like much fun.
Employees work on their own phones and laptops. They run the applications they like. And they send data across the public Internet. Good luck keeping sensitive data secure.
Ionic Security has been trying to help a few huge companies with that monumental task. Now it’s looking to expand its impact and sign up many more customers, with the help of a $25.5 million funding round.
Security vendors have been pushing hardware and software hard lately to prevent hacks, breaches, and other nightmares, especially now that employees want to use cloud applications and their own devices to do their work.
Ionic shares the specific data-protection space with Bluebox Security, CipherCloud and PerspecSys. The company prides itself on being easy to use and not requiring complex network security gateway hardware.
Using a hardware gateway isn’t necessarily a great idea for all sorts of reasons, Ionic founder and chief technology officer Adam Ghetti told VentureBeat in an interview.
“The whole point of using the cloud was you didn’t have to deal with all of that [hardware] again,” Ghetti said. On top of that, collaborating with people outside a company’s internal firewall isn’t straightforward. Plus, hardware can’t inspect Internet traffic that circumvents a company’s network.
Ionic’s software gets around those snags. It lets administrators apply policies to corporate data right as end users handle it, Ghetti said.
“Every bit of data in Ionic’s ecosystem has a unique ID,” Ghetti said. And a timestamp and other metadata are affiliated with that ID. It can show whether the data contains personally identifiable information, social security number, and other sensitive data.
And if you try to take that data from one file and put it in another, well, Ionic won’t miss a beat. That’s part of what makes Ionic stand out, Ghetti said.
End users need to install software on their devices once, but after that, there’s no need for developers to rewrite software to support Ionic. It works with any application, on a wide range of operating systems.
Google Ventures and Jafco Ventures led the funding round. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, ff Venture Capital, Tech Operators, Phillip Dunkelberger, Dr. Paul Judge, Ken Levine, and Maynard Webb also participated.
To date Atlanta-based Ionic has raised $40 million, including the $9.4 million round announced last April. After starting in 2011, the company has accrued between six and 12 customers, Ghetti said.