Cloud Access Security Broker Bitglass Raises Investment to Help Protect Corporate Data


Bitglass, a California-based security provider, has raised $70 million to grow its business protecting corporate data from attacks in the cloud or on mobile devices, with security tools the company claims act like a ‘firewall in the cloud.’

The company’s software-as-a-service allows clients to adopt securely any managed or unmanaged cloud app and control data stored in the cloud and on their employees’ devices.

With increased corporate use of the cloudOpens a new window for SaaS services and staff able to freely access company data anytime from anywhere, companies find that they hold less control over the conduits through which this information is accessedOpens a new window .

“Cloud and mobile are driving business data beyond the firewall, introducing new security and compliance risks,” says Nat Kausik, the chief executive of Bitglass, which leads the Cloud Access Security Broker software (CASB) market. He explains that cloud adoption disrupts companies from securing networks, servers and other infrastructure, adding that Bitglass’ CASB software secures against data leakage and threats without forcing customers to invest in more hardware and software.

CASB is a policy enforcement point that delivers data and threat protection in the cloud or on any device – whether issued by the company or a ‘bring-your-own’ device owned by an employee. Bitglass’ solution offers comprehensive data and threat protection for a wide range of applications, including managed apps like Office 365, infrastructure-as-a-service platforms like AWS and unmanaged apps like personal Dropbox and social media platforms.

It makes use of application programming interfaces and proxies to gain insight into how cloud apps are used. The proxies examine traffic to log, track and watermark documents and sends alerts when information has been shared beyond defined boundaries.

With Bitglass, clients can also selectively wipe data from lost, stolen or deprovisioned devices – without the need for agents – or enforce PIN, encryption or other security settings.

“Bitglass has proven to be the ideal security partner for our company,” says Ryan Christiansen, the CEO of Ntooitive Digital, a developer of customer relationship management software. “At Ntooitive, we’re leveraging the Bitglass CASB to protect information in apps like G Suite. The product gives us total control over our data without impeding employee productivity. At the same, we’re incorporating Bitglass technology into our platform so that we can provide these same capabilities to our customers.”

Another client, a large US health insurance group with more than 7,500 employees, deployed Bitglass to oversee the cloud apps it used internally, including Workday and Salesforce and custom applications such as Cornerstone and Tableau. “We tested several CASB solutions and Bitglass was the only platform capable of securing Workday and critical internal applications like Cornerstone and Citrix Sharefile,” the company’s chief information security officer said. “Bitglass’ agentless, real-time approach to data protection is uniquely suited to meeting our security needs.”

“As businesses move to the cloud, legacy security products are obsolete,” said Edward Colby, partner at Quadrille Capital, which led the latest funding round. “Bitglass has built a cloud-first security platform poised to dominate the market.”

Bitglass raised the $70 million in a series D funding round from a new investor, Quadrille Capital, and from returning investors including Future Fund, New Enterprise Associates, Norwest and Singtel Innov8.

Bitglass was founded in 2013 by Kausik and chief technology officer Anurag Kahol, who met at Juniper Networks.  Since launch, the company has expanded rapidly, adding customers and partners globally. In 2018, Bitglass was named a leader – alongside McAfee, Symantec and Netskope – in Gartner’s first “magic quadrant” for CASBs. It also earned the No.1 spot in The Wall Street Journal’s “Top 25 Tech Companies to Watch 2018” list.

According to GartnerOpens a new window , “By 2022, 60% of large enterprises will use a CASB to govern cloud services, up from less than 20% today.”

Recent reports of hoards of data being found unprotected online, including Facebook user information found on Amazon Web Services by security researchers at UpGuardOpens a new window , have raised questions over who is responsible for cloud security.

As Hatem Naguib, senior vice-president of security at Barracuda Networks, notes: “The organizations benefiting the most from the cloud are those that understand their public cloud provider is not responsible for securing data or applications, and are augmenting security with support from third-partyOpens a new window vendors.”

Kausik says the new funds, which bring the total Bitglass has raised so far to $150 million, will help spur product development and grow its customer base.