Former Twitter CISO and Capital One Data Scientist Unveil Automated File Sharing Security for Cloud Collaboration and Productivity Tools to Provide Improved Security, Governance and Compliance for G Suite, Box, Office 365, Slack and More
Altitude Networks, the industry’s first cloud collaboration security platform, announced it has officially launched with the close of $9 million in series A funding. The round was led by Felicis Ventures with participation from Slack Fund, previous investor Accomplice, and a personal investment from Alex Stamos. Aydin Senkut, founder and managing director of Felicis, will join the board. The capital will be used to fund the company’s growth and customer acquisition strategies.
Altitude Networks was co-founded by Michael Coates and Amir Kavousian. Coates is a 15-year veteran of the security industry and former CISO of Twitter, head of security for Mozilla and chairman of OWASP. Before founding Altitude, Kavousian was a lead data scientist at Capital One, where his experience in machine learning was used to create fraud detection platforms.
Companies are increasingly adopting cloud services that enable employee collaboration and document sharing, such as G Suite, Box, Office 365 and Slack. On average, companies use 27 different cloud apps and services. Yet security and IT professionals have no way of monitoring how sensitive data is moving, when employees become malicious, or compromised, or simply make mistakes, such as changing link sharing settings.
A Ponemon report in 2018 found that:
- 49% of respondents said cloud services make it more difficult to protect confidential or sensitive information
- 63% percent said their organization has third-party users accessing their data and information in the cloud
- 57% did not believe that their organization is careful about sharing sensitive information with third parties in the cloud environment
Altitude Networks was created to tackle data security in the cloud to protect enterprises against unauthorized data access, accidental or malicious sharing to unintended individuals, and data theft. Beyond personally identifiable information (PII) or payment information, Altitude monitors privileged and sensitive materials for potentially damaging sharing, such as legal documents, internal financial data, or confidential product roadmaps shared with unauthorized internal or external accounts or even personal Gmail accounts. The platform is designed to support multiple SaaS applications, beginning with G Suite and Box and expanding to Office 365, Slack, Salesforce and others.
Leveraging the successes of data science for fraud detection, Altitude Networks applies those tenets to cybersecurity and cloud collaboration. Combined with file metadata and relationship analysis, Altitude accurately pinpoints business critical files that are shared in highly risky ways that could lead to a data breach. For example, in multiple customers where Altitude is analyzing millions of files, it identified highly sensitive financial reports and board decks shared with personal email accounts of employees.
Companies are using Altitude Networks to fill the gap of security in cloud collaboration for multiple threats including:
- Protecting intellectual property from theft by offboarding employees
- Validating ex-contractors don’t have residual access to data through other accounts
- Preventing sharing of critical internal files to personal accounts
- Blocking inadvertent internal sharing of sensitive or privileged files to the entire company
- Identifying and remediating public access to critical company files
Designed for companies of any size, Altitude Networks seamlessly integrates directly into cloud applications and provide continuous protection without endpoint software agents or network proxy devices. Customers can integrate Altitude into their cloud environment in less than 30 minutes with an initial discovery of critical risks in a matter of hours.
Pricing for the Altitude Networks platform is subscription-based by employee to easily scale from smaller to larger organizations. An interactive demo of Altitude Networks’ technology is available. The company will also be in booth 2108 in Black Hat’s Innovation City, August 7-8, to showcase its innovative platform to Black Hat attendees.
What People Are Saying About Altitude Networks:
“Cloud services will continue to gain market share as organizations look to cut costs while providing the best collaboration tools available to drive the business forward,” Aydin Senkut, founder and managing director of Felicis Ventures. “What Altitude has built will enable businesses to embrace cloud tools while mitigating the risk factors with file sharing, data access and data leakage. The market opportunity for Altitude is tremendous as it applies to anyone using SaaS applications who wants control over their data.”
“Altitude Networks uniquely fills a control gap faced by most modern companies as we embrace the ease of sharing live documents and increase the risk of a data leak,” said Jeff Bryner, CISO and early customer of Altitude Networks. “Before using Altitude, the security team was working reactively to mitigate exposures, and tools for this kind of work didn’t exist. Altitude allowed us to adopt a proactive stance, giving us confidence we were seeing the whole picture. Great to see a new player step up to solve this issue!”
“In an era when data protection laws like GDPR are colliding with the move to the cloud, I was intrigued by what Michael, Amir and the team built to help CSOs get a handle on this issue,” said Alex Stamos, director of the Stanford Internet Observatory and former CSO at Facebook. “Creating an easy way to understand permissions to data in disparate SaaS applications and then take action based on highly accurate alerts is a phenomenal step forward in bringing more security to the cloud.”
“Mobility and cloud technologies have enabled unprecedented real-time collaboration and file sharing. These innovations have been a catalyst for employee productivity, but unfortunately have also introduced numerous headaches for CISOs who are responsible for data protection,” said Michael Viscuso, venture partner at Accomplice and co-founder, Chief Strategy Officer of Carbon Black. “Security teams often lack visibility into what data is being stored, let alone shared, in the cloud. Altitude Networks’ platform was designed from the ground up to allow today’s knowledge workers to leverage cloud collaboration platforms without introducing unnecessary business risk. It gives security teams visibility into how their data is moving across — and out of — their organization. More importantly, it automatically identifies risks and takes action to stop data leakage and theft with little to no human input. With Altitude Networks, CISOs can sleep at night knowing that they are protected against overzealous or malicious file sharing.”
“To date, companies are blind to file sharing activities in the cloud, visibility of critical risks, or capabilities for remediation across popular cloud collaboration platforms,” said Michael Coates, chief executive officer at Altitude Networks. “I experienced these challenges first hand as a CISO. We built Altitude so that businesses could say yes to the cloud, and the inherent collaboration benefits, without compromising security best practices around data access control and protection. At the same time, we wanted to provide the highest level of accuracy so that security teams can trust results and have confidence in the platform to automate remediation. By creating a single platform to manage multiple cloud collaboration products we enable companies to fully understand how data is moving across, and out of, their organization. Using Altitude, we empower companies with the visibility and control to fully protect their cloud data.”