Cloud Vendor's Bank Account Now 'Skyhigh'

By Doug Barney

Skyhigh Networks has a sky-high pile of new cash to fund its push deeper into the cloud visibility and control market. The money isn’t chump and it certainly didn’t come from a chump. Sequoia Capital, a premier name in venture capital, came up with most of the bread in this Series B round, along with the equally notable Greylock Partners.

Skyhigh is all about cloud visibility and discovery, helping IT pros find all the cloud services in use in their shop. Like the early days of the PC and later with smartphones and tablets, cloud services are brought in by end users – leaving IT with all the security holes and calls for support.

The company claims that in most cases it can find 10 cloud services for every one that IT already knew about.

Once Skyhigh finds these cloud services, it can set about controlling them.

On the heels of the new investment, Skyhigh announced a new marketing trick. It guarantees that is can find 30 cloud services IT was unaware of in a half hour.

Cisco has had good luck with the service. “We had no comprehensive way of knowing which services were in use, where outgoing data was headed, and what risks these cloud services implied for our business,” said Steve Martino, vice president, Information Security, at Cisco. “The number of cloud providers we were using was definitely an eyebrow raiser. We knew there would be a number of them, but we were surprised by exactly how many showed up.”

Skyhigh Networks Cloud Services Manager is a cloud service that is multi-tenant, and can discover the cloud services a company is using, as well as “their associated security, legal, and business risks,” the company says. Knowing what you have in house can also help you only pay for services you actually need, and get rid of redundant services.

As part of its security approach, the service looks for behaviors that are out of the norm.

Finally, the service lets IT take control of the cloud the way they took charge of PCs and BYOD devices. IT can now encrypt the data going over the cloud, define who gets what access and help insure that corporate data isn’t leaked out the cloud.

“Business users expose organizations to security and compliance risks when they adopt new cloud services without IT involvement,” said Asheem Chandna, partner at Greylock Partners and Skyhigh Networks board member. “Skyhigh enables IT teams to reduce these risks and accelerate the safe adoption of cloud services, allowing CIOs to once again become chief enablers of their businesses.”

The Cool Factor

This year Gartner chose Skyhigh as a cool company in security services.

Garter sees Skyhigh as part of a whole new market. “Skyhigh is an early innovator in the emerging category of cloud access security brokers – that is, it injects security policies and controls between cloud services consumers and the cloud services they are consuming. Skyhigh's services reside in its cloud-based data centers as a reverse proxy; they include auditing, logging, keyword-based data loss prevention, object-based file encryption and integration with Active Directory and identity-as-a-service providers,” Gartner explained.

Skyhigh can also help determine the risks of the cloud services in operation, allowing IT to stop the more egregious or dangerous services.

But there are drawbacks or challenges for Skyhigh as well. “Skyhigh has limited points of presence in the U.S., with only three locations to date. It does not resell or perform its own identity services. Customers looking for identity as a service outside of Active Directory must purchase and integrate a solution, such as Okta or Ping Identity. Skyhigh's default product is offered as a cloud-based service with an optional on-premises virtual appliance,” Gartner concluded.

Edited by Alisen Downey

MSPToday Editor at Large

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