Cyolo raises $21M for zero trust networking tech

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Cyolo, a startup developing a platform that enables users to securely access their organization’s apps, servers, desktops, and files, today announced that it raised $21 million in series A funding led by Glilot Capital Partners, with a strategic investment from National Grid Partners and Merlin Cyber and support from existing backers Flint Capital, Global Founders Capital, and Differential Ventures. Cyolo says the funds will be used to accelerate growth and R&D efforts, as well as help new customers navigate the transition to zero trust networking.

Organizations today face increasing breaches and vulnerabilities, which can cause reputational and financial damage. In 2021, by June, there were 9.8 million records exposed across 106 incidents, according to analysts at IT Governance. That’s why some enterprises are taking action by accelerating the adoption of networking built around zero trust. Zero trust connectivity removes the excessive trust once required to allow employees to collaborate, abstracting the access mechanisms so that security engineers and staff can be fully responsible for them.

Cyolo continuously detects and authorizes devices, users, and identities in a network, providing them with access to organizational resources, apps, data, software, and more. Covering both IT and operational technology, Cyolo doesn’t have visibility into customer data, ensuring that organizations don’t compromise on sharing data or secrets.

Cyolo

“Cyolo was founded in 2019 by former commanders of the Israeli Navy Cyber Unit to help organizations remain agile, resilient, and productive,” cofounder and CEO Almog Apirion told VentureBeat via email. “The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation across nearly every industry and vertical, and the fundamental change is that secure connectivity for computers is shifting from being network-based to being based on cyberspace identities. Cyolo is bringing this zero trust secure connectivity and identity-based verification to cyberspace and making entities the users—devices, computers, services.”

Zero trust platform

Cyolo works in existing environments and doesn’t require changes to infrastructure, adapting to different locations, networks, or platforms, according to Apirion. Any device that runs a “modern” operating system can be identified with some sort of passport or verifiable identity, and every entity on the platform can identify other identities before approving connections.

Apirion gave the example of Rapac Energy, a customer, which worked with Cyolo to provide access to systems connected with suppliers and support teams. The new solution had to provide security features that complied with stringent requirements, both regulatory and directed by Rapac’s security team.

“Rapac had used a VPN in the past, but access was slow, usage was bulky, and the employees were not happy with using it,” Apirion said. “Prior to discovering Cyolo, Rapac … believed [it] would have to build the solution [it] needed from multiple applications and systems that he would string together. Cyolo’s … solution for Rapac was used internally to ensure zero trust secure access between systems and apps for employees. The entire implementation process, including systems training and cyber supporters at Rapac, took only one day.”

Okta, Citrix Workspace, Duo Security, Perimeter 81, Claroty, CyberArk, Connect Secure, and NetMotion are among Cyolo’s competitors in a zero trust security market anticipated to be worth $59.43 billion by 2028. But Apirion asserts that Cyolo’s latest funding round will enable it to gain a larger toehold by expanding its marketing and sales teams, particularly in the U.S. and the UK.

The world is being exposed to new data vulnerabilities as it switches to a more hybrid remote work culture. For businesses and organizations, achieving true zero trust architecture means looking toward identity-based solutions like Cyolo that are flexible and can support the work-from-anywhere environment,” Apirion said.

To date, Tel Aviv, Israel-based Cyolo has raised $25.2 million.

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