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Top 7 Hottest Cloud Security Startups In 2023

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Top 7 Hottest Cloud Security Startups In 2023

 

When it come to securing data and identities, cybersecurity startups are making gallant moves in cloud environments in the last 6months of the year.

Protecting The Cloud

For many reasons, securing cloud environments such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud is a major trouble spot for organizations. Lack of visibility, a massively expanded attack surface and the highly dynamic nature of the cloud are just a few of the big issues facing security teams who are charged with protecting cloud-based resources. As just one indicator of their struggles, cybersecurity professionals who were surveyed at the RSA Conference in April reported that their biggest concern is cloud security, beating out worries about ransomware and remote work, according to a report from access management vendor Delinea.

Not surprisingly, many cybersecurity startups have chosen to focus on addressing these challenges, and a number of up-and-coming cloud security startups have been busy raising funding and deploying their products to more customers in 2023 so far. Notably, many cloud security startups — even those still at the early-stage level — have also been working closely with channel partners, in another sign of the massive market demand for innovation in the cloud security space.

Major focus areas for cloud security startups in 2023 include helping to secure data and identities in cloud environments, while other startups are offering capabilities for investigations and incident response in the cloud.

We’ve been tracking a number of cloud security startups and have chosen 10 that especially caught our attention during the first half of 2023. We’ve focused on startups founded since 2018 that you may not have heard about yet, but that we think are worth checking out (we’re intentionally omitting cloud security startups that have already achieved significant scale and wide recognition, such as Wiz and Orca Security).

Here are the 7 hottest cloud security startups in 2023 so far

1. Britive

In March, Britive announced raising $20.5 million in a Series B funding round led by Pelion Venture Partners. The startup is using the funds to expand the development and deployment of its platform that aims to enable improved identity security in cloud environments. Specifically, Britive is providing what’s known as “just-in-time” privileged access management — which automates the granting and revocation of user privileges — across multi-cloud environments. The startup’s platform also provides greater visibility into security issues in cloud-based systems such as misconfigurations, unusual activity and risky permissions.

2. Cado Security

In March, Cado Security landed $20 million in new funding led by investment firm Eurazeo. The startup, which offers what if calls the “first” platform for forensics and incident response in the cloud, said it will use the funding to expand its customer base and continue developing its product. In June, Cado followed up the funding announcement with the hire of Holly Shea Cappello, who formerly worked for cybersecurity vendors including Rapid7 and Carbon Black, as its new senior vice president of global sales. Cado Security offers a digital forensics platform that is cloud-native — which makes it uniquely designed for cloud environments, according to the startup — and is focused on automating investigation and response efforts.

3. Dazz

Dazz has aimed to stand out from others in the cloud security space by focusing on helping organizations to prioritize and remediate cloud vulnerabilities, in contrast to tools that are mainly capable of generating alerts. The startup’s platform further simplifies the process by providing developers with the fix to cloud security issues within their workspace. Founded by a group of former Microsoft executives — including Bahat, who was previously the general manager for Microsoft’s cloud security business — Dazz has collected $60 million in funding so far. Recent product moves have included the launch of a private preview for a capability that helps to automate remediation of cloud security issues, such as infrastructure-as-code flaws, by leveraging OpenAI’s GPT-4 large language model to derive insights from sources of unstructured data. “Our unique position as a fully-integrated platform allows us to capitalize on the potential of LLMs in providing actionable remediation,” Dazz said in a blog post announcing the new capability in June.

Top 7 Hottest Cloud Security Startups In 2023

Top 7 Hottest Cloud Security Startups In 2023

4. Dig Security

Dig Security, which focuses on data security in the cloud, has made a number of significant moves during the first half of the year including announcing an integration with cybersecurity giant CrowdStrike and landing an investment from Samsung Ventures. In April, Dig Security announced that its data security posture management (DSPM) platform has been integrated with CrowdStrike Falcon, enabling the delivery of enhanced visibility and control for cloud data in real time as well as improved discovery of security posture issues and sensitive data. The integration with CrowdStrike — which is also an investor in Dig Security — has produced what the startup says is the “first-in-the-market” DSPM offering that combines malware detection, data leak prevention and data detection and response in the cloud.

 

Meanwhile, in June, Dig Security announced that Samsung Ventures has made a “strategic investment” into the startup. The amount of the funding was not disclosed. Dig Security offers a partner program that includes a focus on working with channel partners around delivery of consulting advisory services, implementation services technical support and procurement.

5. Ermetic

Ermetic, a startup that specializes in automatically removing unneeded permissions in the cloud, announced the launch of a redesigned channel program in March. The company’s Above the Cloud Channel Partner Program consists of an offering customized for resellers and a separate offering tailored to MSSPs.

Components of the new program include Ermetic’s first certification program around its cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP), aimed at providing partners with key technical skills for working with the platform, said Scott Hoard (pictured), head of global channel sales for Ermetic, in a news release. The platform brings an identity-focused approach to unifying and automating a number of capabilities in cloud security — including cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM), cloud security posture management (CSPM), cloud workload protection (CWP) and security for infrastructure-as-code (IaC), as well as Kubernetes security posture management.

6. Laminar

Laminar, a startup that offers a data security platform for cloud environments, announced in April that it has added a number of new features for enhancing its data security posture management (DSPM) offering. The new capabilities add up to making the Laminar platform the “only pure-play DSPM that provides comprehensive enterprise-wide multi-user capabilities,” the startup said in a news release.

Key features that were added in the recent update included the introduction of the Laminar Executive Data Landscape Dashboard, which provides instant visibility into data risk and security gaps, along with “best-in-class” support for role-based access control (RBAC) ensuring that authorized users have controlled access to data policies and system administration.

Also in April, Laminar announced support for Google Cloud and Snowflake, making it “the first cloud-native data security platform to support all major cloud service providers and data warehouse environments,” the company said in a release.

7. Mitiga

In March, Mitiga announced raising $45 million in Series A funding led by ClearSky Security, and targeted for expanding the deployments of its IR2 cloud incident response platform. The startup’s technology enables collection and analysis of forensic data related to cyber incidents affecting both cloud and SaaS environments. The IR2 platform integrates with cloud service providers and SaaS applications and provides what Mitiga calls the “industry’s fastest cloud IR” service, enabling investigations to begin quickly and rapidly delivering insights, according to the startup. In other recent moves, Mitiga said in February that John Watters, whose past roles have included serving as president and COO of Mandiant, had joined the startup’s board as an independent member.

***Culled from CRN

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Top 10 States With The Highest Number Of Internet Users In Nigeria

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The digital landscape in Nigeria has seen significant growth over the years, with more citizens gaining access to the internet.

This has been largely driven by improved telecommunications infrastructure, affordable mobile devices, and the growing digital awareness among the population.

As of the fourth quarter of 2023, data on internet usage across the country reveals fascinating insights into which states are leading in digital connectivity.

According to the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) internet subscriptions in the country stood at 163.8 million at the end of 2023.

Based on the NBS data, here are the top 10 states with the highest number of internet users in Nigeria as of Q4 2024:

10. Delta (4.4 million)

Rounding off the list is Delta State, with 4.4 million internet users. Known for its oil production, Delta is also making strides in the digital world, contributing to the diverse landscape of internet users in Nigeria.

9. Katsina (4.6 million

Katsina State, with 4.6 million internet users, is another northern state on the list, showcasing the expanding reach of digital connectivity beyond Nigeria’s major urban centers.

This growth is a testament to the increasing awareness and adoption of digital technologies in the state.

8. Adamawa (5.4 million)
Adamawa State stands out in the northeastern region with 5.4 million internet users. Despite facing challenges, the state is making significant progress in digital inclusion, bridging the digital divide in the region.

7. Rivers (5.6 million)
Rivers State, with its capital in Port Harcourt, is not just an oil-rich state but also a burgeoning center for technology and innovation in the southern part of Nigeria, with 5.6 million internet users.

The state’s efforts in leveraging digital technology for economic development are evident in its internet usage figures.

 

6. FCT (5.8 million)
The FCT, encompassing Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, boasts 5.8 million internet users. As the administrative and political heart of Nigeria, it’s no surprise that the FCT is among the leaders in digital connectivity, with many government and private sector initiatives pushing for greater internet penetration.

5. Kaduna (7.4 million)

Kaduna State is another northern state making waves in the digital world, with 7.4 million internet users. The state has been proactive in embracing technology, aiming to become a northern tech hub, which is reflected in its growing internet user base.

4. Oyo (8.4 million)
Oyo State, known for its rich cultural heritage, is also making strides in digital engagement with 8.4 million internet users. Its capital, Ibadan, is becoming a significant tech cluster, fostering digital education and innovation.

3. Kano (9 million)
Kano, one of the largest cities in Nigeria’s northern region, comes in third with 9 million internet users. The state has historically been a center of commerce and trade, and its adaptation to digital transformation has been commendable, making it a leading state in the north for internet usage.

2. Ogun (9.5 million)
Following Lagos is Ogun State, with 9.5 million internet users. Ogun’s strategic position as a neighbor to Lagos and its efforts in improving its ICT infrastructure have made it an emerging center for technology and industrialization, attracting more people to the digital space.

1. Lagos (18.9 million)
Topping the chart is Lagos, the commercial hub of Nigeria, boasting an impressive 18.9 million internet users. The state’s advanced infrastructure, coupled with its status as a business and tech hub, significantly contributes to its high internet usage.

Lagos is not only the most populous city in Nigeria but also a melting pot of cultures and businesses, making it a hotspot for digital activities.

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El-Rufai Launches $100 Million Afri-Venture Capital Company

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Nasir El-Rufai may no longer be the Kaduna State governor and has missed a controversial ministerial appointment, but he certainly has not lost his zest for taking on big projects. The former governor is going into the private sector with a loud statement.

El-Rufai plans to launch a $100 million venture capital fund for startups in Nigeria, particularly those in the Kaduna tech ecosystem. He plans to match his ambitions with actions. He is willing to stake $2 million of his money for the offtake of the fund. He plans to convince investors to provide the remaining funding. The investors will mostly be those “who believe in us but don’t have the capacity or the time to do the analysis and evaluation. But they trust our judgment and they will come with us.”

He was in Marrakech in November for the Africa Investment Forum where he spoke to BusinessDay.

The former governor who played a significant role in the emergence of the current Nigerian president as the party’s candidate, seems to have put his disappointments behind him.

In Marrakech, there was no trace of the man who became the target of much social media trolling. The El-Rufai that showed up in Marrakech was looking spritely and took part in all the sessions of the Africa Investment Forum, a multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary platform with the vision to channel capital towards critical sectors to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the African Development Bank’s High 5s, and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

According to him, he wants to set up a venture capital fund or private equity that will invest in young Nigerians with innovative ideas. It doesn’t matter what segment of the economy the ideas are. It could be in agriculture. ICT or the creative industry, so long as it has the potential to add value to the world, these are the ideas that El-Rufai and his fund will target.

During his tenure as governor of Kaduna, El-Rufai said he met many students in Kaduna who had great ideas and were creating innovations. However, many of them did not have someone to mentor them and help those ideas grow.

 

“What young people need is essentially mentoring and financing to get things going. They develop the idea and see whether it is viable. And we will open doors for them because they don’t have contact. They don’t know or have access to ministers, presidents, or regulatory agencies. We do. We know the minefields that they have to navigate. We know that they need to give them appointments and we can provide them with the startup funding and in return we take an equity position.

We don’t want to take your business; we want to develop it. But if we take the risk on you, we will take a percentage of the business,” El-Rufai said.
He is working with select private sector partners, including Eyo Ekpo, co-founder of Excredite Consulting Limited, and their primary focus is on Nigeria but the ambition is Africa because he projects from a report that Africa will be supplying the world with a significant portion of the workforce it needs by 2050.

According to a report by the Guardian, by 2050, Africa’s population is expected to reach 2.5 billion, which is about 25 percent of the world’s population.

El-Rufai says such projections call for more investments in the younger demographic. However, his fund will not just be focusing on new startups, there is also a plan to engage established companies with management problems that are still viable. The VC fund will invest in such companies, get them sorted out and take them to exit.

“We don’t intend to remain in any business. We want to catalyse growth in these startups,” he said.

One of the goals of being at the African Investment Conference was to seek continental partnerships, and investors and to explore opportunities with climate-focused investors.

“Nigeria has a lot to offer Africa and the world. Our population, entrepreneurial capability, the innovation of our young people and their boldness and courage to find success. We just felt that we have a duty to encourage,” he said.

The first fund will be investing for three to four years. The fund is expected to launch early next year and the company will be headquartered in Abuja. This is to diversify the funding beyond Lagos because there is already a lot of interest in funding innovation in Lagos. El-Rufai and his partners want to spur startup funding interest in ecosystems in Kaduna, Abuja and other parts of the country.

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