Skyhigh Networks, a cloud security start-up, has raised funding from Salesforce.com and venture capitalists, as companies worry that employee use of cloud services such as Dropbox and Google Drive could put them at risk of a cyber attack.
Venture capital companies Greylock Partners and Sequoia Capital, both existing investors, led the $40m fundraising round, which will help the two-year-old company expand internationally.
Sales have grown fivefold in the past year as Skyhigh’s more than 200 customers, including big banks and insurance companies, look for ways to secure company data they no longer control.
Rajiv Gupta, Skyhigh founder and chief executive, said many companies did not even know how many cloud applications their employees were using. He said a chief information security officer at a large bank told Skyhigh that his highly regulated workforce only used 42 applications, but Skyhigh had found more than 1,000 in use.
Cloud computing came under scrutiny after Edward Snowden, a former US intelligence contractor, revealed the US National Security Agency had been tapping into services provided by big internet companies. US technology groups that offer cloud services, including Cisco, say last year’s revelations damaged the growth of the sector.
But Mr Gupta said most potential customers of cloud providers, which include investors Salesforce.com, had other worries.
“In general, [in the US] they are more concerned about insider threats, hackers and third-party nation-states than the US government looking into their bank accounts, the NSA looking into their affairs,” he said.
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