Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round, with participation from John Thompson, chairman of Microsoft and former CEO of Symantec; Frank Slootman, former CEO of ServiceNow; and Lane Bess, former CEO of Palo Alto Networks.
Palo Alto, California-based Confluera wants to beef up the speed of responding to cyberattacks by enabling security analysts to respond in real time to attacks.
“We are bringing the first platform to deterministically stop advanced attacks in real time,” said Confluera CEO Abhijit Ghosh, in an interview with VentureBeat. “We know cybersecurity challenges are faced by everyone today. The spending we see is on a plethora of point products which have narrow visibility and limited scope. What we see is a missing piece: a platform that can bring visibility from across the infrastructure to identify and track everything in the infrastructure, and then respond in real time before the damage happens.”
That seemed to me that this is what most cybersecurity firms do. Why do we need another cybersecurity firm? Ghosh responded that the responses today don’t succeed, and that the current solutions try to keep attackers out. But once hackers get inside an enterprise, security can’t do much. On average, the attackers stay inside a corporation’s network for 100 days, consolidating their strength and seeking ways to do maximum damage.
“There is really a very large attack surface around and enterprise infrastructure,” Ghosh said. “After they get in, they go through a life cycle of making progress to their final target. There is no solution to have real-time visibility into that progression. There is no clear understanding of what to do to mitigate the attack.”
Industry analyst firm Gartner estimates worldwide information security spending to exceed $124 billion in 2019, largely driven by security and risk management needs of digital business initiatives. Still, businesses around the world struggle to detect and stop ever-increasing advanced, multi-stage cyberattacks.
In an interview, Thompson said, “Oftentimes what you see is real-time detection, but not real-time protection. They may detect what is happening, or how extensive a penetration might be.”
The company said that current solutions have failed to prevent attackers from navigating through the enterprise infrastructure. This has led to more frequent and devastating data breaches, reputational damage, and regulatory action for businesses, while adversaries roam freely through their critical infrastructure.
“Confluera is uniquely positioned to revolutionize the way in which brands protect themselves and their customers from modern cyberattacks,” said Ravi Mhatre, founder of Lightspeed Venture Partners, in a statement. “This funding round will enable Confluera to accelerate its growth and bring to market a cybersecurity product that is unmatched in its ingenuity and effectiveness.”
The company’s leaders include Ghosh, former engineering leader at Juniper Networks, Azanda Networks, and Siemens; Niloy Mukherjee, cofounder and chief architect and former lead architect for Oracle In-Memory Database and LinkedIn Distributed Data Systems; and Bipul Sinha, cofounder and chairman and CEO of Rubrik.
Rather than use artificial intelligence, Ghosh said his company focuses on deterministic solutions, stitching the right things together to block attacks.
“The caliber of the Confluera team speaks to the confidence we have in their innovative and market-disrupting approach to cybersecurity,” said Thompson. “The fact that the Confluera platform can help identify and engage with the attackers in real time is the first step towards winning the cyber warfare.”