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Companies are rapidly adopting external cloud applications to get work done, but they’re not always sanctioned by chief technology officers. Netskope tracks the use (and misuse) of these myriad apps, providing IT departments with enough information to keep companies efficient and safe.

With a fresh $15.9 million in its coffers, the cloud analytics company emerged from stealth mode today, promising IT managers more fine-tuned control of employees’ applications than competing services like Skyhigh.

“Our architecture enables two huge differentiators: deep analytics and real-time policy enforcement,” Netskope CEO Sanjay Beri told VentureBeat. “At a company level, these differentiators allow us to be a scalpel rather than a sledgehammer.”

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Beyond providing usage information to enterprises, Netskope offers them fine-tuned control of employees’ favorite applications: IT managers can disallow sharing of specific documents with Box or Dropbox, for example, rather than completely blocking those services.

“Because we understand how these apps work, we see and normalize actions across all cloud apps. That means when we set a policy about ‘sharing’, it applies to apps whether they use the word ‘share’, ‘send’ or ‘e-mail’,” Beri said. “And because we are in the data plane, the policy happens in real-time, before bad stuff happens.”

Netskope tracks more than 2,600 cloud apps and ranks them by 30 criteria like security and disaster recovery. Today, it released a list of its top-scoring apps: Salesforce (CRM), Box (cloud storage), and CrashPlan (cloud backup) snagged the top three spots respectively, with Amazon Web Services right behind them as the highest-rated cloud infrastructure solution. (More detail in the infographic below.)

Netskope counts companies like Netflix and Universal Music Group among its 50 or so customers, which pay Netskope annually based on number of users.

Founded last year, Netskope has raised $21.4 million from The Social+Capital Partnership and Lightspeed Venture Partners. It targets enterprises with more than 500 employees. For its own part, it currently employs 50.

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