Top 10 IT security startups to watch in 2017

The cloud has created a haven for startups, and budget constraints are now not as big of a problem as they previously were. Public cloud providers like AWS and Azure put a host of powerful technology at your beck and call. With serverless architecture like AWS Lambda, you only pay for when your servers are actually doing any work. This has led to a number of startups making waves in the enterprise, and security is one sector that is ever evolving.

It has been said that the war against cyber-threats will never end as it’s a never-ending learning process for both security staff and hackers alike. Recent DDoS attacks are proof that we are far from eliminating cybercrime altogether, and like so many things in life it’s all about who gets the upper hand first. Simulating attacks, defending the IoT, and keeping track of suspicious device configurations are the name of the game, and there are a number of hot startups that are coming up with the technology to do just that.


Capsule8 is being marketed as the industry’s first container-aware, real-time threat-protection platform that’s designed to protect both legacy and next-generation Linux servers from known and unknown threats. Inspired by large-scale hacks of Linux infrastructure like the Yahoo data breach that went undetected for two whole years until the stolen information appeared on the Internet, Capsule8 aims to pioneer the most comprehensive and effective security protection ever offered for Linux.

Capsule8’s security covers cloud and on-premise Linux infrastructure across VMs, bare metal, and containers. The fact that Capsule8 is founded and run by security veterans like CEO John Viega, who was recently EVP of Silversky, adds to its potential of becoming a major league player.


We see drones being used for more and more things nowadays right from delivering pizzas to scaring the daylights out of people. Drones have been successful in a number of military operations, and pilotless aircraft are extremely useful in both spying and bombing missions. Drones have become a flying symbol of human technology and development.

It’s no surprise then that Dronegrid made it to our list. Something that looks like fun isn’t always good for your business, and what Dronegrid does is gives enterprises access to accurate and repeatable aerial information for a number of applications so they can understand the technical and operational feasibility of using drones without the huge initial investment.


Containers are all the rage in enterprise cloud environments today. However, containers are notorious for being poorly isolated and vulnerable to attack. All it takes is to download an infected public container repository from Docker Hub, and it can wreak havoc in your systems. TwistLock is on a mission to secure Docker. It scans container images, allows you to set security policies and make sure they’re enforced automatically. While containers beat VMs in every other way, security is the last great divide between containers and VMs, and TwistLock closes this gap.


IT security startupsBigID has been developing an enterprise privacy management platform that helps organizations understand the risks involved with exposure. BigID uses deep-data science to expose risks and potential threats, and has acquired $2.1 million in one round from three investors. With the world’s growing understanding of online privacy, a number of new rules and regulations have seen enterprises breaching a record number of regulations, and with fines up to 4 percent of your annual revenue, that’s not something you want. BigID is all about helping the enterprise understand the risks involved with storing customer’s private data and making sure no regulations are breached.


Authicate is an IT security firm founded by Brian Grushgow that provides tools to exchange any data securely across any platforms. They combine multiple time-tested, open-source and trusted encryptions along with iOS and Android SDKs support. With private accounts and mobile devices the most susceptible to account takeovers and frauds, Authicate can be used for trusted iOs and Android engagements, encoded data for the IOT and biometric confirmations, and feedbacks. Authicate can also be used to send encrypted data to cars, to identify compliant electronic and mobile signatures as well as to transfer encrypted records securely.

Heat Shield

Heat Shield is a network firewall-management service for Linux containers. What Heat Shield does is effectively configure a firewall that will prevent unauthorized access to specific services running on your servers. Access can be restricted so that only specific IP addresses are allowed to connect with your servers. Another feature is the ability to dynamically update your firewall to block IPs that have attempted brute force SSH login attacks on your servers.

Integris Software

Integris Software is a data-risk intelligence startup that enables enterprises to handle the complexity of their data risk in an automated fashion. Based in Seattle, Integris has already raised $3 million in one round from four investors. CEO and CTO Kristina Bergman and Uma Raghavan are co-founders and believe handling customers’ data with integrity is the key to all future success in this industry. Investors include Madrona Venture Group and Amplify Partners. Integris provides a “data-risk intelligence solution” that operates not only on-premise but in the cloud as well. The interesting part is it uses machine learning along with a combination of natural language processing and data mining to automate how companies manage their customer’s data.


Fleetsmith is a startup that automates the management of multiple Mac computers. Macs being the preferred choice for a number of industries like video, graphics, and movie editing, this makes Fleetsmith a useful tool especially when there are a large number of computers to deal with. After raising just over $3 million in seed money, the service is available to the public at about $8 a month for a fleet of 50 devices.

Finally, we’re going to take a detour from IT security tools to mention a couple of innovative security startups that are using technology to make the world a safer place.

Amber Box

Amber Box is an interesting security startup, to say the least. They use patented gunshot detection algorithms to identify and immediately respond to a firearm discharge. Using a combined audio and infrared detection system, the detector is able to detect a gunshot instantly with a near-zero false alarm rate. Since most shots are reported on an average of three minutes after they are fired — mostly because people are normally a bit shocked to react — Amber Box brings down the time for police to arrive from eight minutes to three minutes, which could be the difference between life and death.


When a startup disrupts a physical service the way Uber has disrupted taxis around the world, we felt it was definitely worth mentioning. Technology fans love it when technology disrupts a physical industry, and the physical security industry is what Marclae has in its crosshairs.

By providing a security platform where customers can not only request security personnel but where potential guards can even sign up for jobs, this looks a lot like Uber’s model for the security industry. The Uber model works, however, and Marclae will be an interesting one to keep an eye on.

Humans have been using technology to beef up security ever since Mr. Colt invented the revolver. With leverage like artificial intelligence and deep-learning algorithms being provided economically by cloud providers, this is a sector that should see substantial growth this year.

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