National Grid Partners leads seed investment in Zero Trust Cloud Security innovator AccuKnox, with strategic investment from SRI, z5Capital and Outliers VC.
AccuKnox, formed in partnership with SRI (Stanford Research Institute), today announced that it has closed an over-subscribed $4.6 million seed financing led by National Grid Partners, with strategic participation from SRI, z5Capital and Outliers VC. The funding will be used to expand the engineering team and enable AccuKnox to further capitalize on its technology innovations in security and Zero Trust in dynamic, cloud-native environments. The company plans to deliver on open source and commercial offerings before the end of this year.
In addition, AccuKnox announced that Phil Porras, Program Director and Internet Security Group Leader, Computer Science Laboratory, SRI, has joined the company, assuming the role of Chief Scientist. The founding team includes Asif Ali, Nat Natraj, Rahul Jadhav and Phil Porras.
AccuKnox is a Zero Trust run-time Kubernetes security platform that leverages an identity-driven approach. Kubernetes, one of the fastest growing open source projects, is the foundation of cloud-native applications. AccuKnox is the founding team behind KubeArmor, an open source run-time security enforcement system that leverages Linux Security Module (LSM). The company’s technology is anchored on seminal patented innovations in container security, un-supervised learning and data provenance developed at Stanford Research Institute.
AccuKnox leverages best in class foundational open source platforms like eBPF, SPIFFE, OPA, and Kyverno; and provides a comprehensive security, compliance and governance platform for Public Cloud and Private clouds.
“The AccuKnox team under Nat Natraj’s leadership is made up of proven, cloud-native DevSecOps professionals,” said Lisa Lambert, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at National Grid and Founder and President of National Grid Partners. “We’re confident that the combination of SRI innovations and AccuKnox’s proven team will deliver a category leading, Zero Trust security platform to address emerging threats.”
National Grid Partners Director Raghu Madabushi will join the AccuKnox board.
Gartner projects that by 2022, more than 75% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production. Due to this unprecedented growth in Private and Public Cloud container deployments, industry analysts forecast the container security market to reach $2.25 billion by 2023.
“We are thrilled to team with NationalGrid and SRI to launch AccuKnox. I am equally excited that top caliber Cloud Native tech leaders like Asif Ali and Rahul Jadhav; and Phil Porras, cybersecurity industry luminary, are a part of our amazing founding team. As organizations embrace Kubernetes as a foundational aspect of their digital transformation efforts, run-time security, governance and compliance are strategic imperatives. AccuKnox is uniquely poised to deliver a compelling platform,” said Nat Natraj, co-founder, CEO, AccuKnox. “This is a massive market opportunity for AccuKnox, and we look forward to working in close concert with our new investors to deliver run-time Kubernetes and data security in a DevSecOps model.”
SRI’s pioneering R&D contributions (including the computer mouse, SIRI, Robotic Surgery and Intrusion Detection) are foundational to modern society. “Our nonprofit mission is to use technology to make the world safer, healthier and more productive,” said Dr. Manish Kothari, President of SRI International. “Combining our cutting-edge research with a proven team at AccuKnox allows us to do just that. We are thrilled to be partnering with Nat Natraj and the AccuKnox team.”
AccuKnox is working with security leaders and is targeting GA (General Availability) of its platform in Q4 2021.
- “Container usage for production deployments in enterprises is still constrained by concerns regarding security, monitoring, data management and networking.” — Gartner, Best Practices for Running Containers and Kubernetes in Production, August 4, 2020.
- “Container adoption is increasing, and security must come along for the ride. Organizations value the scalability and agility that containers offer, but containers introduce new security challenges that can’t be addressed with traditional security and networking tools. Commonly accepted security tools like vulnerability scanners, network forensics, and endpoint detection and response (EDR) are too heavyweight for a container environment. Security pros need cloud native tools that are purpose-built for high scale, lightweight, ephemeral container environments.” — Best Practices For Container Security, Forrester Research, July 24, 2020.
- “AccuKnox’s foundational innovations in the areas of container security, un-supervised Learning and data provenance are precisely what is needed for delivering a comprehensive and robust cloud native Zero-Trust security platform.” — Chase Cunningham, Renowned CyberSecurity Analyst and Zero-Trust expert.
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