News & Insights for the AI Journey|Wednesday, June 26, 2019
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AI for Cloud Security Attracts Venture Funding 

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Vectra, the cloud security platform vendor, has raised an additional $100 million in its latest funding round led by TCV, an early investor in technology companies ranging Facebook to Splunk.

Vectra specializes in AI-based network detection and response technology embodied in its flagship Cognito cloud security platform. Since its founding in 2010, the San Jose-based company has so far raised $222.5 million in five funding rounds, according to the web site Crunchbase.com.

Vectra said it would use the funding to expand R&D for its platform touted as providing security across cloud, datacenter and Internet of Things infrastructure.

Investors like TCV are betting the steady shift to hybrid and multi-cloud deployments will generate greater demand for new cloud security tools as the number of undetected breaches increases.

Vectra bills its Cognito platform as leveraging AI technology to stay one step ahead of hackers. The system collects and stores network metadata “with the right context” to spot known and unknown threats in real time. Instantaneous threat detection and remedial action is becoming a standard security feature as more companies move mission-critical data and distributed applications to the cloud.

The Cognito platform includes three tools. Its “Stream” feature that sends “security-enriched” metadata to data lakes and security information and management systems. A cloud-based application dubbed “Recall” stores and investigates threats within network metadata. An AI-based detection tool is designed to uncover and prioritize unknown attackers.

“The cloud has inherent security blind spots, making it imperative to eliminate cyber-risks as enterprises move their business to the cloud,” said Hitesh Sheth, Vectra’s president and CEO.

Vectra’s hefty financing round represents a bright spot in an otherwise slowing AI investment landscape. A recent venture capital funding survey found that overall AI investments declined for the second straight quarter. Still, the cloud security market could offset some of those declines as more AI tools are deployed to detect threats in real time.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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