Netskope – Protecting Cyber Data Using Data

Founded in 2012, Netskope is a cyber security company based in Los Altos, CA. Categorized as a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), the company offers a suite of software solutions to help mid-sized businesses and large enterprises gain visibility and control of cloud applications used by employees. Netskope leverages big data analytics and machine learning to detect risky apps and behaviors, alert IT administers, and enforce policies. Its customers range from mid-sized businesses to Fortune 100 companies and represent sectors such as financial services, healthcare, technology, etc. Companies in those sectors have either been slower adopters of cloud due to security reasons or have cloud-centric, mobile workforce. Security platforms like Netskope have demonstrated their ability to leverage data to accelerate cloud adoption and make enterprises safer and more efficient.

The rise of cloud applications has substantially increased the amount of data generated by companies and their employees and shifted corporate data from on premise servers to third party cloud software providers. Enterprises today on average count over 700 cloud apps, the majority of which are not sanctioned by IT. It has become a headache for IT and executives to secure corporate data that reside in cloud apps and prevent leaks of sensitive data. The proliferation of mobile has made it even harder to manage corporate data, as the premise has now expanded from centralized corporate environments behind firewalls to remote devices easily accessible from everywhere. For example, employees could download non-sanctioned cloud apps on corporate devices, increasing risks of malware infection, data leakage, etc. Enterprises also struggle with inside threats – departing employees could install cloud storage apps (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) and steal sensitive information.

Netskope aims to solve those problems by analyzing cloud app profiles and user behaviors. Netskope offers a comprehensive Cloud Confidence Index database for thousands of enterprise cloud applications. They collect third-party data as well as data from existing customers to score each application based on functionality, enterprise readiness, security, etc. to help IT and line of business decide whether and which applications to authorize. The core of Netskope’s technology lies in its robust real-time threat detection capabilities. The company differentiates itself from competitors by offering its platform in multiple deployment modes – log file analysis, integration with sanctioned apps, forward proxy, mobile agents.

Log file analysis is typically offered in the initial implementation stage to produce detailed diagnosis of employees and cloud apps based on network logs that record every event and action. Netskope’s technology is able to crunch through large amounts of data to give insights into historical app usage patterns. It also integrates with a select set of IT sanctioned apps, including Salesforce, Google apps, Microsoft 365, etc. and offers a reverse proxy which captures, monitors and can block certain actions in real time. Netskope can also install agents on employee desktops and mobile devices to monitor non-sanctioned app usage. All the data collected via reverse proxy, forward proxy and agents are fed into Netskope’s intelligence engine to produce analytics on risky applications and users.

The company today targets large businesses (+1000 seats) who face the highest complexities of managing people and applications. It employs a traditional enterprise sales team and has average contract size in the 5- to 7-digits. Netskope aims to further build out its data analytics capabilities to provide more accurate detections and predictions for its customers.


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Student comments on Netskope – Protecting Cyber Data Using Data

  1. Data security is currently on top of minds of many executives and you provide a great example of how data analytics can enhance cloud security solutions! What is particularly fascinating is the increased capability to analyze colossal amount of data and spot emerging patterns in just a short period of time. In my opinion, one area where there still is a strong need for further innovation is the security of mobile devices.

    I find the data security sector to be one of the most promising and fastest growing right now. As an example, Palantir, a data security company that performs link analysis to uncover fraud, grew to be the fourth largest privately held company in the world. Netskope has solid venture capital backing, including Accel Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners and it recently raised $75 million in Series D financing. It will be interesting to watch if it will grow into the billion dollar club.

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