The Foundry Group’s Ryan McIntyre (who was a board member of Postini) just announced the venture firm’s investment in browser security startup Authentic8, which is the brainchild of Postini founder Scott Petry and Ramesh Rajagopal (Postini’s VP Corporate Development). Postini offered businesses message security, archiving, encryption, and policy enforcement tools which can be used to protect a company’s email, instant messaging, and other web-based communications platforms. The company was eventually acquired by Google in 2007 for $625 million.
As McIntyre writes, Authentic8 is “a direct descendant of the Postini DNA.” While Positini tackled email security, Authentic8 addresses security in the browser. The startup has created a secure browser called the Disposable Browser (currently based on the Firefox codebase), which runs remotely on a virtual server in the cloud.
From McIntyre’s post: Each time a user accesses Authentic8, a “fresh” browser is built from scratch in private server environment. As a result, any malicious code encountered hits Authentic8’s servers, not the end-user’s. When a browsing session is over, the server instance is trashed, leaving no trace of of a user’s personal data or browsing history behind. Finally, Authentic8 can manage a user’s login and password information, encrypting and submitting login credentials on the user’s behalf. Of course, all communication between the user and the Authentic8 service is encrypted, over their secure protocol.
The goal of Authentic8 is to appeal to businesses who are conscious of employees’ security through browsers. The service is currently in closed-beta and will be opening up to additional beta users in the next few weeks.