Elastica Scores $30M To Expand Cloud Data Security Business

About a year after launching its system to protect business data stored on the Web, cybersecurity company Elastica has landed $30 million from investors to continue its expansion into the global market.

San Jose, CA-based Elastica was founded in 2012 to provide the traditional services of cybersecurity companies, such as risk assessment and data loss prevention, to 21st-century businesses that now keep much of their data in third-party cloud storage applications such as Dropbox and process their data with Web-based software. That means keeping track of information that often travels well outside company computers located within company walls, Elastica founder and CEO Rehan Jalil says.

“These days there is no boundary,” Jalil (pictured above) says. “Employees may work from home, on their own devices.”

Elastica doesn’t replace traditional security services, but uses new technology to maintain the watch on a company’s sensitive data as employees export it to Web-based storage and software applications. There, they may share it with each other and with customers—and sometimes unwittingly, expose it to anyone on the Internet, Jalil says. To guard against such mistakes, and against intentional leaks, Elastica routes the data through an extra dimension.

“We created an invisible layer in the cloud,” Jalil says. Client data passes through that layer, and is monitored by Elastica’s system, called CloudSOC, pronounced “cloud-sock.” The letters at the end stand for “security operations center.”

Using data science tactics such as machine learning, Elastica searches for signs that an employee is using a Web-based app without company permission, or sharing data on a company-approved app with someone who shouldn’t have access, or otherwise jeopardizing data security. Elastica’s product line includes Securlets—apps that interact with cloud service provider apps including Box, Google Drive, Microsoft Office 365, and Salesforce. These apps support the CloudSOC system’s search for data that has gone astray.

Jalil says Elastica now has 275 businesses either paying for its services, trying out its system, or preparing to become paying clients. Some are large enterprises. One paying client has 90,000 employees, he says.

Elastica’s $30 million Series B fundraising round was led by new investor Third Point Ventures, with participation by Australian telecommunications company Telstra, Pelion Venture Partners, and existing investor Mayfield Fund. The round brings Elastica’s total fundraising to $36.3 million, the company says. The new capital will be used to expand the company’s engineering team and its sales staff, which has been expanding from North America to Europe and Asia.

Jalil says Elastica’s service runs the gamut from risk assessment and threat detection to incident response, post-incident analysis, company data policy formulation, and employee education. The rise of cloud storage companies has created new challenges because most of these companies have diversified their products to include tools that make it easier for employees to collaborate online on their shared projects. If anything, this creates more opportunities for data leakage than did e-mail, which used to be the main route through which workers shared company documents with other people, Jalil says.

“Collaboration tools are the primary driver for companies to be very careful” about using Web-based apps, Jalil says. Even so, the benefits of that easy work-sharing option are so significant that companies are unlikely to retreat from cloud-based storage and software applications, he says.

“The drivers of that adoption are very, very strong,” Jalil says. “That train has left the station.”

Bernadette Tansey is Xconomy's San Francisco Editor. You can reach her at btansey@xconomy.com. Follow @Tansey_Xconomy

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