Venafi has raised a huge $39 million round of funding from Intel Capital, QuestMark Partners, and Silver Lake Waterman.
The encryption key and security certificate manager says it’s using the money to expand its client base and to create new products for the burgeoning Internet of Things market.
Cryptographic keys and security certificates are used to ensure that a person is communicating with a trusted entity on the web or on an enterprise network. For instance, when a website’s security certificate is out of date, many web browsers will advise against connecting to it. In addition to expiring, keys and security certificates can also be forged and hacked, allowing bad actors to obtain confidential information about a business network or a person.
Venafi offers a system that manages those keys and security certificates so that employees don’t accidentally give an unknown hacker access to their enterprise network.
“We find all the certificates and then sort them out and say these are helpful, these are hurtful,” said Jeff Hudson, CEO of Venafi. The automated system protects trusted certificates and keys, replaces bad ones with trusted ones, and blocks those that can’t be fixed. Venafi’s software also integrates with a variety of cybersecurity platforms and products from Blue Coat, A10 Networks, Symantec, Verisign, Palo Alto Networks, and others.
In terms of expanding the business, Hudson said that one of the biggest new markets his company is interested in is the connected home and office. Each Wi-Fi enabled device, whether it’s a connected light system or physical security system, will have security certificates and keys that need to be managed. Though business executives may not realize it, all devices connected to an enterprise network can serve as an additional entry point for hackers. The trick for Venafi will be getting businesses to understand why they need to manage security certificates for seemingly innocuous Internet-connected devices.
In the coming months, Venafi will be hiring across its departments to prepare for new business.