Bromium — an enterprise security and virtualization startup backed initially by Andreessen Horowitz, Ignition Partners, and Lightspeed Venture Partners — is taking the stage today at GigaOm’s Structure conference to unveil its technology. It’s also announcing that it has raised $26.5 million in Series B funding.
Here’s the problem that Bromium is tackling, as outlined for me by co-founder and CTO Simon Crosby (who was previously CTO at Citrix): As the “consumerization of the enterprise” advances, it’s creating more security risks. Workers, not IT managers, have more control over the devices they use, the software they install, and the websites that they can visit. That’s a good thing, but it things much harder for anyone trying to protect a company from viruses or other attacks.
Obviously, there’s no shortage of security products, but Crosby says none of them address a core problem — security patches, for example, can’t keep up with the threats, while using traditional virtualization just means that a virus could wreak havoc on your virtualized desktop.
Bromium’s solution takes the form of micro-virtualization. Crosby says that anytime you open something that could pose a security risk, Bromium can create a microvisor — a virtualized version of the desktop that completely hardware-isolates the risky application or website, as well as any documents or files that are deemed necessary for it to access. Meanwhile, the core system is always completely walled off.
“Any untrustworthy computation is automatically just put into these tiny shells on-the-fly, and the user is completely unaware of it,” Crosby says.
From a security perspective, that means the threat from a virus is significantly diminished, because it’s going to be completely isolated in its effects. Users, meanwhile, can visit the websites and download the software that they want, and they won’t notice any change to their experience. (A bonus: Bromium makes sure that you’re never sending data to a website other than the one claimed in a browser — which means, for example, you don’t have to worry about accidentally handing over your bank credentials to a hoax site.)
As for the Series B, it was led by Highland Capital Partners, with participation from new investor Intel Capital and existing investors Andreessen and Ignition. Bromium has now raised about $37 million in funding.
Today’s announcement is just about the Bromium architecture and funding. Later this year, Crosby says we can expect product announcements that bring the architecture to PCs and mobile devices.
Bromium delivers the benefits of micro-virtualization and hardware based security to enterprise desktops, reducing the enterprise attack surface for all users without the need for new management tools or skillsets. The company’s solutions enable an exceptional end-user experience with its protect-first design, isolating threats before they can harm the enterprise. Bromium vSentry™, based on the Bromium Microvisor™. protects Windows® PCs from undetectable advanced malware that attacks the enterprise through tricking users into opening poisoned attachments, documents and websites. vSentry enables...
Founded in 1988, Highland Capital Partners is a global venture capital firm focused on putting the entrepreneur first. With offices in Silicon Valley, Boston and Shanghai, Highland has raised over $3 billion in committed capital and invested in more than 225 companies, resulting in category-defining businesses across consumer and enterprise technology. Investments include 2U, Ask Jeeves, Bromium, Calxeda, Leap Motion, LevelUp, Lycos, MapQuest, Nebula, QD Vision, Qihoo 360, Quattro Wireless, RentJuice, Rent the Runway, Starent Networks, Sybase, Violin Memory,...
Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment organization, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software, and services targeting enterprise, home, mobility, health, consumer Internet, semiconductor manufacturing and cleantech. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than US$10.8 billion in over 1,276 companies in 54 countries. In that timeframe, 201 portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges around the world and 317 were acquired or participated...