The importance of data is a boon and challenge to today's organizations, which rely on it to remain competitive but struggle to protect it. Providing employees with access to data that spans cloud stores and data warehouses can introduce security, privacy, and compliance risks.
Satori Cyber is a new startup emerging from stealth with $5.25 million in seed funding primarily led by YL Ventures. It aims to help businesses protect data as more teams, partners, and customers demand access. Its inaugural product is the Secure Data Access Cloud, a platform to give businesses capabilities they need to understand how data flows and who can access it.
Co-founder and CEO Eldad Chai met co-founder and CTO Yoav Cohen nine years ago, when the two were employees at Incapsula. When Incapsula was sold to Imperva in 2014, the duo continued to build security products as part of Imperva's executive team. When the company was later sold to Thoma Bravo in late 2018, they started thinking about where they'd go next.
"We like to look at major business trends of the time and try to enable businesses to achieve those," Chai says. "What we've seen in the past year is how companies have become more data-driven." They noticed new cloud technologies and regulations create "a lot of friction" in achieving that goal and wanted to improve the process.
There are two types of strategies businesses take when trying to address data protection and governance, Chai continues. One is segregation, or breaking data into smaller chunks per use case. "The downside of that is it's running a lot of infrastructure," he notes. "It's expensive and it slows down innovation because there's no one place to access data."
The second way is trying to piece together various controls on an existing platform in an attempt to achieve a greater level of visibility and control. "That's cumbersome and costly in terms of time," Chai says, and results in fragile implementation with a lot of manual overhead.
Satori's Secure Data Access Cloud is "a proxy service that sits between consumers of data and data stores," Cohen explains. The cloud-native platform sits in front of data stores and inspects both queries and results to build a map of how data flows across the environment and applies privacy policies, considering a person's identity, data being accessed, and behavioral activity. It supports both software-as-a-service and customer-hosted deployment options, he adds.
"The platform sees every data transaction in the environment," Cohen continues. "So it can identify whether it's personally identifiable information, PCI, [and] data types of that sort to make sure sensitive information is not being exposed to people who shouldn't be exposed to it."
Satori is primarily interested in data generated by applications and consumer data. It targets midsize to large data-driven enterprises with large amounts of regulated data and high demand for internal access and analysis, Chai says. This could include major SaaS platforms, financial technology companies, and large retailers, all of which have online revenue-generating services for consumers, collect the data, and employ internal teams to analyze it.
Cohen says what sets Satori's product apart from others is it doesn't tie to any specific data store platform organizations are using today. "The solution is unopinionated about your existing architecture," he explains. "It can be deployed regardless of how you decide to architect or organize your data infrastructure."
"We're not asking companies to change the way they interact and use data," Chai adds. "Companies have their own way of doing things … if companies want to change data platforms, they can do that." What they have found, he adds, is it's more effective to aim to provide visibility regardless of the data storage organizations already use.
Both Chai and Cohen are based in Tel Aviv, where they plan to build its engineering team, and its go-to-market will be the United States. The company is starting with a team of ten, they say, and plans to recruit more as the product continues to progress.