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An Israeli startup called Twistlock is launching today, with the words “containers” and “security” on the brain and $2.5 million in funding.

Twistlock has a long list of things in mind to make it easier for enterprises to adopt containers — a technology for storing up application code that can be easily moved from one server environment to another.

In the past two years, San Francisco startup Docker has made Linux container technology, an alternative to or replacement for virtual machines that work with software from vendors like VMware, more accessible than it was before.

Several startups have popped up to attack various problems associated with using containers. Docker itself has been allocating resources for security initiatives, and people outside the company are focused on it, too. And Twistlock wants to help with that, cofounder and chief executive Ben Bernstein told VentureBeat in an interview.

“But we think there’s also other things that need to be done,” Bernstein said.

Twistlock is interested in hardening hosts and images — by using quality gates that would test images before they can be put into production — and providing a central hub for authentication, authorization, and auditing. Twistlock also wants to provide a place to monitor the security of containers in production, detect surface anomalies, and discover any malware.

There are no paying customers yet, but Bernstein said Twistlock does has four “design partners” checking out the technology that’s currently built. For instance, the hub for authentication, authorization, and auditing is already available, and more is on the way.

Bernstein previously spent more than 10 years working on enterprise security at Microsoft. His cofounder, Dima Stopel, also spent several years at Microsoft. They both did service in the Israel Defense Force’s intelligence corps.

Bernstein will be moving to San Francisco next month, and the startup has 10 people doing research and development in Israel. With the new funding, the team will bring aboard a few more people in the coming months, and it will keep working on its software as well. Some products will become available as open-source technology, Bernstein said.

YL Ventures led the round, with an unnamed angel investor also participating. YL Ventures managing partner Yoav Leitersdorf is quite bullish on his new company. As he told VentureBeat in an email, “These Twistlock founders are really great guys, and they will get really big really fast with the surge in container adoption and the burning need for security in production deployments.”

Time will tell if his prediction is right.


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