Sponsored Content

How Wiz, a $6 Billion Unicorn, Uses Specialized Data Tools to Fuel Innovation and Growth

Its comprehensive cloud view helps customers find and remove security risks quickly.

Cloud security company Wiz, a unicorn with a valuation of $6 billion, recently announced that it had reached annual recurring revenue of $100 million—only 18 months after launching its first product. Wiz achieved this growth by providing easy-to-use tools that help organizations quickly identify prioritize, remediate, and stave off potential cyberattacks.

Wiz operates in an environment where security threats are constantly growing and evolving. In fact, last year, the overall number of data compromises rose by more than two-thirds and reached an all-time high, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.

Leading companies of all sizes and in a variety of industries use Wiz to scan every layer of their cloud infrastructure, without agents, to rapidly identify and mitigate risks in their cloud-based applications. At the center of the Wiz solution is the Wiz Security Graph, which not only identifies possible security issues, it highlights interconnections between technologies, including networks, data stores, and workloads, that could create opportunities for hackers.

Critical to this is Amazon Neptune, a graph database service purpose-built for applications that work with connected datasets.

Using the right tools

General-use, relational databases, like Amazon Aurora, support a wide range of enterprise applications, such as customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP), with high availability and performance. However, in the current world of distributed applications, using a database designed for a particular function can often deliver greater functionality, performance, efficiency, and scale. This has led Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop a suite of purpose-built databases that provide organizations with specialized tools for specific use cases—and can help organizations get more value from their data faster.

AWS has developed eight fully managed, purpose-built databases to support diverse data models. These include a document database for content management, a ledger database for managing systems of record, such as banking transactions, and a time-series database for IoT applications. These services allow organizations to solve a specific problem and move faster to rethink processes and invent new applications.

“If you don’t have the right data solution, it will limit your ability to think.”

Navigating complex relationships quickly  

Wiz demonstrates how having the right tool can help create opportunities and speed innovation. With Neptune, Wiz can find relationships between technologies—what Wiz calls “toxic combinations”—at every level of the cloud, from infrastructure to applications, that present potential risks or attack paths. Wiz then quickly analyzes this complicated network of connected information to give customers contextual insights and greater visibility into security threats, all from a single console in minutes.

“Often, as you bring different sets of data together, the relationships become complex and hard to grasp,” said Brad Bebee, general manager of Amazon Neptune. “You need to analyze your data model to understand which pieces are really meaningful. Neptune takes on that challenge.”

Wiz analyzes vulnerabilities with risk factors like misconfigurations, malware, and network exposures, and provides customers with a graphical representation of vulnerabilities. It also offers insight into which issues are most pressing. This gives Wiz customers the information they need to make the right call on what to do and how quickly to do it.

“If you don’t have the right data solution, it will limit your ability to think,” said Ami Luttwak, co-founder of Wiz.

Bringing greater speed to mitigation and innovation

Wiz, which uses a variety of AWS services, including storage and compute, is an AWS Partner and connects via API to scan workloads running on AWS as well as other clouds and virtual machines. The two companies work to enable customers to securely adopt best-in-class cloud technologies without risk, to help security professionals prioritize accurately, and to reduce alert fatigue.

Recent examples include the integrations between Wiz and AWS Security Hub and Amazon Security Lake—which automate security checks and centralizes security data, respectively. Customers can send Wiz security findings to both services to automate security checks, centralize alerts, break down silos, query analytics, and gain visibility into the customer’s overall security posture.

Security alert prioritization is another area where AWS and Wiz have worked together. Wiz’s integration with AWS helps teams determine which alerts to prioritize by providing contextualized and prioritized threat detection to improve investigation and response. The Wiz Security Graph helps cloud defenders quickly understand what happened, where it happened, and how to respond.

Wiz also helps bring greater speed to creating new products by extending its capabilities across the full development pipeline. This enables customers to use security as an innovation catalyst rather than a blocker. For example, with Wiz, administrators can set security policies for new application code. As the code moves through development and into production, Wiz continually checks for compliance and provides alerts it if finds any issues, enabling developers to fix problems early. Moreover, Wiz allows administrators to create cordoned-off test environments where developers can build applications without the limitations of excessive security protocols, giving developers greater freedom to invent and iterate.

Attracting investment dollars

Wiz is a great example of how, with the right tools, startups can quickly fuel growth with a lean team and attract investment dollars. Not only is Wiz using automated and purpose-built services to foster innovation in its own organization, it is helping customers use the cloud with greater security and confidence—and in a way that empowers developers to experiment and solve problems. “It’s exciting to help companies transition to this new approach to cloud security,” Luttwak said. “We’re really in the beginning of a revolution.”