Big 50-2016 Startup Spotlight: Illumio

Over the next few weeks, Startup50 will profile a few of the startups that have earned their way into the Big 50-2016 Startup Report. Today, we look at the security startup Illumio.

Startup in the spotlight: Illumio

What they do: Provide an “adaptive security platform.”

Problem they solve: According to Illumio, there are more than 250 million servers inside data centers and clouds that are poorly secured and need protection against rapidly evolving threats. Security professionals are burdened with the sheer number of firewall rules, zones, VLANs, and subnets.

And it’s not just the sheer numbers that are a problem, but the complexity of modern networks, as companies migrate to the cloud and embrace a wide variety of new services and technologies.

Automation and hybrid environments break traditional perimeter and legacy solutions, and the expanding attack surface created by today’s network segmentation model leaves as much as 90 percent of computing assets open and exposed to outside attackers.

How they solve it: Illumio’s Adaptive Security Platform (ASP) attaches adaptive segmentation and enforcement to workloads, allowing security pros to secure individual applications and processes without changing subnets, firewalls rules, zones, VLANs – or any other infrastructure settings.Illumio ASP

Illumio ASP further reduces risks in data center and cloud environments by delivering application traffic visibility, adaptive segmentation, and encryption – all with no dependency on the network or hypervisor.

This is a distributed software platform designed to continuously protect communications within and across tiers of applications, wherever they are running. It creates secure and granular segmentation to compartmentalize workloads and applications, reducing the attack surface exposed to cyber vulnerabilities.

Thus, Illumio ASP is completely decoupled from infrastructure, meaning no more risks will be introduced through untested updates and misconfigurations.

Headquarters: Sunnyvale, CA

Year Founded: 2013

Funding: $142 million raised in three rounds (the most recent being a $100M Series C, which closed in early 2015). Investors include BlackRock Funds, Accel Partners, Formation 8, Andreessen Horowitz, and General Catalyst. Individual and angel investors include Microsoft Chairman John W. Thompson, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang.

Competitive Landscape: According to Gartner, the worldwide cyber-security market eclipsed $75 billion in 2015. Market and Markets estimates that the global cyber-security market will reach $170 billion by 2020.

Illumio will have to compete against the likes of VMware (NSX), Palo Alto Networks, and Cisco to succeed in this market sector.

Customers Include Morgan Stanley, Salesforce, Plantronics, King Entertainment, NetSuite, and Creative Artists Agency.

Why they’re in the Big 50-2016: Illumio finished second in online voting for the security and storage group. They’ve raised an impressive amount of VC funding, and their management team and board knows this space inside and out, having earned their stripes at VMware, Cisco, Juniper, McAfee, Palantir, Symantec, Palo Alto Networks, Nicira, and other security and infrastructure companies.

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