Connect with us


Virtru raises $60M to bring zero trust security to data sharing



Data security and privacy firm Virtru, which today announced raising a $60 million series C funding round, said that usage of its encryption platform for shared data has quadrupled since the start of the pandemic. The growth has come as more businesses recognize the value of extending “zero trust” security beyond network access, Virtru cofounder and CEO John Ackerly told VentureBeat.

One of the biggest focus areas for the cybersecurity industry right now, zero trust network access (ZTNA) has the potential to deliver previously unheard-of control over access to applications and data. However, Virtru is the first platform to provide a comparable level of control over the data layer itself, Ackerly said.

In the cyber industry, “there’s a data challenge that no one’s addressing well — except for Virtru,” he said in an interview. “There’s a big opportunity right now to really be a vital part of an overall zero trust architecture.”


Virtru’s product encrypts data as it’s moved or shared using email applications, file-sharing platforms, software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps, and cloud environments. Integrations include Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Salesforce, Zendesk, and more than 100 SaaS applications in total.

“As data gets moved between these systems, every time that it does, it is left insecure,” Ackerly said.

But, he said, there’s a good reason that others haven’t adequately solved the issue: it’s extremely difficult.

Underpinning the product is an open standard for data protection — the Trusted Data Format (TDF) — which was actually invented by Will Ackerly, chief technology officer and cofounder of Virtru (and brother of John Ackerly). Formerly a cloud security architect for the NSA, Will Ackerly created TDF to secure data sharing between intelligence agencies.

Another key issue that Virtru addresses is making access to secure data a “seamless” experience for end users, John Ackerly said.

The Virtru platform works entirely behind the scenes, and has “taken out all the extra steps usually involved with getting access to secure content,” he said. “There’s a lot of work over 10 years that went into making that really, really easy.”

Customer traction

Virtru reports it has more than 7,000 customers, and that its platform secures roughly 2 million emails and files every day. Founded in 2012, the company says it has protected more than 1 billion data assets to date.

Customers include Verizon, Netflix, the state of Maryland, Brown University, EmblemHealth, SoFi, and Redfin.

The security challenges created by the shift to remote work during the pandemic — along with the “cavalcade of breaches” in recent years — have woken up many more customers to the need for overhauling their approach to data security, Ackerly said.

“I think that people finally get it — you’ve got to solve this data control challenge,” he said.

In addition to ZTNA, customers also need “ZTDA” — zero trust data access, according to Ackerly. In other words, data needs needs to be secured by default, he said — removing the need to place trust in third parties about how data is being protected.

“Right now, if you talk to the large ZTNA vendors, I think everyone would admit that they’re thinking about how to protect at the data layer—but they haven’t solved it yet,” Ackerly said. “There’s a massive gap in the zero trust offerings that are available from the large players today.”

Growth funding

Virtru’s series C funding round was co-led by Iconiq Growth and Foundry Capital. Other backers in the round included Tiger Global, MC2, Bessemer Venture Partners, and New Enterprise Associates.

With the new funding, Virtru has now raised $136.8 million to date.

The company employs 150 today, and plans to use the funding to double size of its team in 2022.

This will include expanding Virtru’s international go-to-market team, Ackerly said. Product development investments will include building more integrations with SaaS apps and enhancing the API and SDK experience for third-party developers, he said.

“It’s really important that we continue to make that experience easier and easier,” Ackerly said. “We want to be empowering developers to bake in privacy from the start.”

Key partners for Virtru include Google, with the two companies working together across both Google Workspace apps and Google Cloud.

In October, Virtru announced a new solution to further deepen data security measures for Google Cloud users — with the launch of external key management encryption for Google Cloud. The solution enables organizations to protect their data in Google Cloud — including in data lakes and databases — using their own encryption keys, which can be managed independently of their data.

Source link


Dune: Awakening is an open world survival MMO



Dune: Awakening made its debut at The Game Awards as an open world survival massively multiplayer online game.

The game from Funcom and Nukklear looks beautiful, full of very detailed imagery of the desert planet Arrakis, also known as Dune. The game asked for beta signups, but we got no other information. Survival is the key word. Dune is a very deadly world, with sandworms and an unforgiving climate.

You can see places in the trailer like the city of Arakeen by day and night, as well as desert biomes and more. It’s not clear when it is coming. With luck, it will be close to the second Dune movie coming in late 2023.

Source link

Continue Reading


Rumors confirmed, Street Fighter 6 kicks off in June 2023



Fighting Game fans are excited now that Capcom announced that Street Fighter 6 is coming to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S and PC on June 2, 2023. The game was initially announced in February 2022, but that reveal did not include a specific release date beyond 2023.

The trailer at The Game Awards focused on new mini games and the international setting. In addition to the 18 previously announced fighter, the trailer also confirms that several new fighters — Dee Jay, Manon, Marisa and JP — that will join the game’s roster.

Notably, the June 2 release date for Street Fighter 6 may be a strategic choice for Capcom. June is the very beginning of Q3.

The last installment of the franchise — Street Fighter V — released nearly seven years ago so fans have been eager for another installment. A day before The Game Awards, the game’s June release date was leaked via the PlayStation Store.

Source link

Continue Reading


5 Things to Do Now to Propel Your Business in 2023



Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Entrepreneurship is a daily leap of faith. In times of economic uncertainty, that leap may feel like a dive off a cliff. We are in one of those times. It likely will take months to fully re-adjust to the forces that have pummeled the world’s economy, and to entrepreneurs, months can feel like years.

With the right playbook, entrepreneurs can survive and thrive in whatever economic scenario. Here are five things you can do to propel your business ahead now and through the difficulties of business cycles for years to come.

1. Learn the lessons of more challenging times

A rocky economy presents a unique opportunity to make tough decisions about the business plan. Everything is open to reexamination. How has the market changed? Are your customers facing challenges that create new opportunities for your solutions? How do new conditions change your assumptions, and what actions do you need to take in response?

Critically evaluate your product roadmap. Is this the time to pivot or become more aggressive with your current plans? Prioritize the highest margin features that are achievable in the next twelve months. Push out projects that don’t make that list, and re-assign resources accordingly. Re-assess pricing. Even as inflation tiptoes back from the highest levels in forty years, raw material and transportation costs remain way up. What will impact your customers if you adjust the pricing or add surcharges to offset these costs, at least temporarily?

It’s been a rough year for hiring. Many companies took the talent they could get. If there are employees or gig workers who would fare better in a different job, now is the time to let them go. Make tough-minded corrections that will pay off overall — corrections that might be avoidable in less challenging times.

Related: How to Turn Inflation and Recession into Your Largest Business Opportunity

2. Tighten your grip on cash

Venture capitalists are pulling back. In the third quarter, Crunchbase reported that funding for startups in U.S. and Canada fell 50% year-over-year. Valuations are down across the board. If you are fortunate enough to be a later-stage startup that benefited from VC largess in 2021, make your last raise last longer than intended.

Keep your dry powder dry, and put off going for another round until the markets even out. Reemphasize the basics for early-stage companies with less market validation and greater distance between now and a potential exit. Delay all capital expenditures. Leverage the hybrid work model if possible, to reduce rent and other office expenses. Continue with Zoom or Google Meet. Now is not the time to rack up travel costs. Re-negotiate fees and terms with service providers. Seek credit terms with key suppliers, in a word, bootstrap.

3. Talk to customers, in person. Now.

How have the business needs of your customers — whether paying or beta — changed over the last 18 months? Are there benefits to your solution that have more recognized value now? Nearly every business, for example, from corporates to startups, has been forced to re-learn the lessons of supply chain management. Startups that can help their customers make better business decisions based on artificial intelligence (AI), reduce costs by improving inventory management or protect against out-of-stock scenarios by identifying and building relationships with new, more local sources of supply will have an edge.

Related: Finding Validation in Serving Customers

4. Non-dilutive capital

According to PitchBook, venture capitalists are showing greater interest in portfolio companies “whose satellite, robotics and software tools can do double duty” in military and commercial markets. International conflicts are one reason, of course.

Another is that the defense and military security industries are generally viewed as recession-proof. Our firm routinely encourages portfolio companies to consider non-dilutive funding from the Small Business Administration — grants to support cutting-edge technologies range from $150,000 to more than $1 million.

Navigating the application process isn’t for the faint of heart. A startup must be realistic about the work involved, but in many states, there are resources to help. Besides the funding, severe responses to agency requests for proposals are reviewed and evaluated by technologists. At a minimum, this can be terrific feedback and a great source of industry contacts.

5. Blue-chip cultures attract blue-chip talent

Company culture can be an asset or a liability. An inclusive, rich culture helps key hires say yes. Finding stakeholders that believe what you believe and are aligned with your team’s values significantly improves the odds that they will stick with you in good times or bad.

After months of “great resignation” fever, the over-heated demand for talent may be cooling off. Maybe offers aren’t as fast or grand as they were a year ago. Maybe Twitter won’t be the only advanced technology business to let people go. Regardless, the search for great talent isn’t a faucet that a young company turns off and on. A startup might modulate the timing or the number of hires but stand at the ready to recruit and filter for culture fit.

Related: 3 Ways to Stay Competitive in the War for Talent

With the right mindset and intentional approach, an entrepreneur can make 2023 a year to strive and thrive. As Yogi Berra, my favorite baseball player of all time, said, “Swing at the strikes.” In business, like baseball, the right swing can turn even the most challenging pitch into a hit.

Continue Reading