How This NYC Startup is Making You Second Guess Who You Want Protecting Your Cloud



As cloud storing has become popular and easier, the fear of getting your information hacked has stayed the same. You are putting a lot of trust in this hazy cloud and what you need is a way to keep it safe. Avanan is your solution. With a completely out of band, with no proxy necessary, their cloud based platform that ensures your security has partnered with the big names in security to serve you best. Oh and did we mention there is a free 30 day trial?

CEO Gil Friedrich gives AlleyWatch the nitty-gritty details about how he is securing all of your information.

Tell us about the product or service.

Avanan secures corporate data in the cloud.


Gil Friedrich

As organizations move their data to SaaS applications like Office 365, Google Apps, Box, Salesforce, etc., they require the same standard of security, privacy and compliance that they demand from their own datacenter, beyond what is offered by their SaaS provider.

Avanan provides the full stack of security. For each security layer, Avanan partners with the world’s leading security vendors to provide cloud-based versions of their most trusted products. For example,

  • Data Leakage Prevention: Symantec, Websense + 4 others.
  • Antivirus: Kaspersky, McAfee + 40 others.
  • Advanced Persistent Threat Protection: FireEye and 3 others.
  • File Encryption: Microsoft and Check Point.
  • File Sanitization: OPSWAT and Check Point.
  • Endpoint Compliance Enforcement: ForeScout and 2 others.
  • Shadow IT and Shadow SaaS Control: Palo Alto Networks and Check Point
  • SIEM Management: Splunk, IBM (Q1), HP (ArcSight) and 3 others.
  • and more on the way including Behavior Anomaly Detection….

Avanan has created ‘cloudified’ versions of these tools so that they connect directly to the SaaS provider’s infrastructure. These are not available from the vendors themselves and are only possible on the Avanan Platform.

How is it different?

What Avanan does, no one else does today. The closest market to Avanan is what Gartner calls the “Cloud Access Security Brokerage” (CASB) industry. Avanan differs in a number of ways:

  • Complete Feature Set: Each CASB vendor specializes in one or two security features. Because vendors are mutually incompatible, it is not possible to offer a complete security stack. Only Avanan offers a complete defense-in-depth solution.
  • Best-of-breed: Decades of experience have shown that no single security company can be best at everything. Because Avanan allows users to select from trusted vendors, it can offer the most advanced technology at every layer. This is true today and as new technologies emerge tomorrow.
  • One-click-Deployment: The Avanan platform requires no agent, appliance or gateway proxy. Because it is entirely out of band, it can be deployed in minutes. A user can spin up a new security solution with a single click.
  • Complete Visibility: Avanan connects directly into the SaaS infrastructure, capturing every user, file, event and policy change, no matter if performed by an employee, an external collaborator or third-party SaaS application. Many CASB vendors rely primarily on a proxy that only monitors employee traffic, so they are blind to external collaborators and third-party SaaS.

What market are you attacking and how big is it?

The SaaS security market is relatively new, but grew from non-existent to Gartner’s #1 Security Technology in 3 years. Gartner estimates that it is a $440M to $1.1B market today, predicting that by 2020, 85% of large enterprises will implement a cloud security product for their cloud services, up from fewer than 5% today.

What is the business model?

Avanan pricing is on a per-user-per-month subscription model, offering each security solution as an a la carte option.

What inspired the business?

We were with ForeScout from the beginning, but once it became $100M/Y company, we started to miss the early days of a startup environment. With the growth of SaaS, it seemed natural to take our network access control experience and come to market with “Cloud Access Control”.

What was inspiration at the time is now obvious in hindsight.

How has your founding team’s previous experience at ForeScout helped you with this venture?

ForeScout became the leading Network Access Control vendor for several reasons:

  • Scalability: it is the only NAC solution that can scale to over 1M users. In the same way, Avanan was built for the needs of the largest of organizations.
  • Partnerships: by its nature, NAC must integrate with most every security vendor in a corporate network: malware software, firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, etc. We have seen the value for both customers and vendors of an integrated ecosystem. The brand names you see on the Avanan platform are a legacy of the relationships built over the last decade.

What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?

We will close our Series A in the next six months, giving us the ability to expand our sales team and enter new markets.

For our launch, we focused on the enterprise SaaS (Office 365, Box, Salesforce, etc.) but next year we will begin supporting the major IaaS vendors (Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute, etc.). This is a growth market, second only to SaaS.

What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?

Don’t start remodeling your house while starting a new company. That should have been in a book somewhere.

If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?

We would like to meet any investor that has a security startup in their portfolio. We believe we can be the most effective platform to demonstrate new and better technology on a fair playing field side-by-side with the biggest names in the industry. We are sure that the solution to tomorrow’s security challenges will not come from a brand name we recognize today.

Why did you launch in New York?

  • Our customers are here. The decision makers are here.
  • Our partners span the globe from California to Israel.
  • And the weather.

What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?

Google has its cafe. We have Essen: the startup’s cafeteria. It’s across the street, and we’re there every day. Try the Ramen.


About the author: AlleyWatch

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