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Laminar, a public cloud data security provider, announced today that it raised an additional $30 million, nearly doubling its funding to $67 million. Laminar said the funding came at a pivotal time for the company, as it continues its first-to-market product rollout with the announcement of three new capabilities within its cloud data security platform, as well as the successful completion of its SOC 2 Type II certification, which ensures compliance with the leading industry standards for managing data, privacy and security. This, the company added, will bring about a significant lead in the public cloud data security startup race.

CISOs and their security teams, according to Laminar, have shown a strong desire for cloud data security solutions. The company also stated in its press release that a total of more than $200 million has been raised by various cloud data security startups, demonstrating the industry’s need for visibility and protection of public cloud data. This isn’t surprising given the rise in cyberattacks as a result of increased digitalization, which includes the work-from-home trend, widespread use of BYOD devices and global internet access.

While these have become the new normal, organizations’ efforts to improve their security have increased demand for cloud security solutions to protect against cyberattacks. According to Fior Markets, the global cloud security market is predicted to increase from $8.33 billion in 2020 to $36.43 billion in 2028, rising at a CAGR of 20.25% over the forecast period of 2021-2028.

Amit Shaked, CEO and cofounder of Laminar, said that the increasing number of participants in the cloud security space is exciting, and it will encourage the company to innovate at a faster and higher level. As Shaked puts it, “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

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Multicloud strategy

Cloud computing platforms and applications have changed the way organizations operate and made procedures more efficient. In fact, more than 94% of organizations already use the cloud for at least some of their computing infrastructure. Despite the fact that there are other cloud computing platforms available, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are said to be the most popular.

Microsoft Azure, formerly Windows Azure, is a cloud computing platform and web portal that lets you access and manage Microsoft’s cloud services and resources. It’s used by businesses to build and grow new applications, as well as to run current applications on the cloud. AWS, an Amazon subsidiary, helps businesses scale up by providing database storage, processing capacity, content delivery and networking, among other services.

Each of these cloud computing systems has its own distinct characteristics. Azure machines are organized into cloud services and answer to the same domain name with different ports, whereas AWS machines can be reached independently. A virtual network cloud is available in Azure, while a virtual private cloud is available in AWS. There are 140 availability zones in Azure, while there are 61 in AWS.

As one of the three new capabilities within its cloud data security platform, Laminar said it has gone multicloud by adding Microsoft Azure support to its existing support for Amazon AWS. According to a survey, a multicloud strategy is the de facto standard among enterprises, with 89% of worldwide cloud decision-makers and users reporting having one. In Laminar’s status of public cloud data security survey, according to the company’s press release, 56% of enterprises work with two or more cloud providers, demonstrating the importance of cross-cloud consistency. According to Forbes, this will aid firms in reducing complexity and risk.

Full suite data-centric policies

Rather than addressing applications, servers or networks, a data-centric security approach blends novel hardware and software to consider data as the permanent source of value. It protects data by monitoring data repositories automatically, particularly when a file is uploaded or updated in the network.

Customers are cautious about sharing sensitive data with unauthorized internal users, despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic forced many organizations to shift all of their data to a 100% cloud-based paradigm. This is why they need data-centric cloud security. Only 18% of organizations claim to be able to detect unauthorized data sharing situations in minutes. As a result, most businesses are concerned about data storage and leakage. 

While most cloud security techniques specify security policies at the infrastructure level, Laminar claims to have a full suite of data-centric policies that are automatically implemented as part of its cloud data security platform. These data-centric regulations, according to the company, are aimed at preventing sensitive data breaches or leaks independent of the cloud architecture that hosts it. Nowi Kallen, managing director at Salesforce Ventures, said that Laminar is rapidly evolving to provide excellent data security posture monitoring and cloud DLP solutions.

Autonomous discovery of shadow data

Another new feature in Laminar’s cloud data security technology is the ability to discover and classify data in self-hosted, embedded databases. Data that is not tracked by IT but may include sensitive information is referred to as “shadow data.” This category includes databases that are embedded into cloud compute instances (AWS EC2s or Azure VMs). As developers iterate quickly, they create embedded, hidden data assets that are frequently unprotected — and thus vulnerable to threat actors. Although the existence of shadow data is not always deliberate, it is a significant challenge for enterprises. Multicloud environments are notoriously difficult to keep track of, and lack of sight invites shadow data to build up.

Because decentralized workload-based data stores are a key contributor to data sprawl, the rise of highly distributed cloud-native systems based on containers, microservices and serverless functionalities has brought the problem of shadow data to the fore. Administrators who are not sufficiently aware of the situation or up to date on policy risk are held liable for data leaks if data that should have been discarded is kept, or for compliance failure if data that should have been stored is found missing.

Laminar claims to be the first to offer self-discovery of these data assets, regardless of their location or access credentials. This, the company added, includes asynchronous mapping and classification of data held in such assets. According to Yaniv Toledano, global CISO at fintech provider Pagaya, companies need a consolidated view of their sensitive data in the cloud, as well as a system that monitors and alerts them. He said that this allows data security to drive a “discover, control and verify” approach with application development and data science teams, allowing them to safely move at cloud speed.

The additional funding has participation from Tiger Global Management and Salesforce Ventures.

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