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Protecting data where it lives and traverses is fundamental to enterprise security. Yet, many organizations are relying on incomplete, at-rest encryption that only protects data locked into inaccessible, siloed locations. 

However, solution providers like Vaultree, which today announced it has raised $12.8 million as part of series A funding round led by Molten Ventures and Ten Eleven Ventures, are aiming to simplify data security with data-in-use encryption.  

Rather than encrypting data-at-rest and decrypting it before processing, Vaultree enables security teams to manage end-to-end encrypted data to determine where its decrypted. This protects data assets and secrets under a veil of searchable encryption (SE) and fully homomorphic encryption (FHE).

Data security: Protecting data where it lives and breathes 

The funding comes as enterprises are struggling to secure data traversing across the cloud, with Thales finding that 83% of organizations are encrypting less than half of the sensitive data held in multicloud environments. 

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True data security and usability can’t be achieved in cloud environments by trying to store information in siloed at-rest encryption solutions, as this information needs to be decrypted before it can be leveraged to generate insights. 

Deploying data-in-use encryption makes data security practical, so that enterprises can gather insights from data as it moves throughout the network, while adding an extra layer of protection so that even if a threat actor manages to gain access to the network, they will be unable to decipher the encrypted information. 

“Data breaches are at an all-time high, ransomware attacks occur every 11 seconds. Global events have escalated the risk of cyberwarfare exponentially, cybercriminals are using increasingly sophisticated methods to intercept data, and governments and cybersecurity agencies are urging companies to fortify their security defenses,” said CEO and cofounder of Vaultree, Ryan Lasmaili. 

“The biggest issue is that data is currently being exposed in plain text during data breaches and leaks, and the only way out is a truly fully encrypted approach so that, if the first line of defense fails (firewalls, API and app security, vulnerability trackers, etc.), data is fully encrypted and useless to intruders in the event of a leak,” Lasmaili said. 

Lasmaili explains that while most companies encrypt data-at-rest on their server, this not only sacrifices the performance of the network, but leaves data unencrypted and vulnerable when users and employees access it in apps.

The growing data-in-use encryption market 

Vaultree’s solution falls within the data encryption market, which researchers estimate will reach a value of $38.7 billion by 2030. As the threat landscape grows more complex, there are an increasing number of vendors in the space turning to data-in-use encryption to help enterprises protect their data.

One such provider is Fortanix, with a runtime encryption platform that offers data-in-use encryption by running applications within a trusted execution environment. Fortanix recently announced raising $90 million in series C funding

Another provider focusing on data-in-use encryption is Soterosoft, which raised $8 million as part of a seed funding extension earlier this year, and provides enterprises with a solution to encrypt data in motion and at rest, whether it resides in applications deployed on-premises, or in the private, public or hybrid cloud. 

Lasmaili argues that Vaultree’s main differentiator from these competitors is the speed and performance it offers when processing encrypted data. “Processing fully encrypted data at performance speeds similar to those of processing unencrypted data is something which is unparalleled until now, especially in live production database environments,” Lasmaili said. 

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