Security startup Applied Identity has picked up $12 million in Series B funding to boost its efforts to lock down users' internal networks and forge new vendor partnerships. (See Applied Identity Raises $12M.)
According to Marty Jost, Applied Identity's director of product marketing, the cash influx will be used to expand sales and marketing and launch additional products. "We're putting together a plan for enhancing the product," explains the exec, though he refuses to give details.
Applied Identitys flagship offering is the Identiforce gateway device. The two-rack, unit-high box sits behind a firewall, but unlike many security products tailored to external threats, this one deals with the internal network.
The Identiforce device works with software such as Microsoft's Active Directory to divide the network into different segments. It then limits and controls access to these segments as defined by specific users, such as the network manager or even CFO. The idea is that this can also limit the spread of external threats such as worms.
A number of vendors are currently scrambling to lock down users' networks, most notably Cisco, which is offering its Network Admission Control (NAC) initiative, and Microsoft, which is touting its Network Access Protection (NAP) strategy. (See Cisco Shores Up Security, Cisco Expands NAC Framework, and Microsoft in Whale of a Deal.)
Rather than seeing these big names as competitors, Applied Identity says its offering is complimentary. "The way that we're different from NAC," Jost says, "is that NAC is typically focused on admission to the network and we're focused on what you do once you're on the network."
To prove this point, Applied Identity joined both Microsoft's NAP and Cisco's NAC earlier this year. "Customers want assurances that we're interoperable with the vendors they are already using," remarks Jost.
Andrew Braunberg, senior analyst at Current Analysis, told Byte and Switch that users are demanding more and more from network access strategies such as NAC. "Initially, NAC was focused on pre-admission [network] control, but now there's much more of an interest from users in the identity component," he says, adding that IT managers, specifically, are looking for identity-based control and authentication.
Jost told Byte and Switch that this week's cash influx will also be used to forge more directory-based partnerships with other vendors, including, potentially, the likes of IBM, CA, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems. "Active Directory is the one that's currently certified, but we can work with any directory that supports Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)."
The exec, however, was less forthcoming on Applied Identity's customer list, although he confirmed that the vendor is mainly focused on the government, financial, and healthcare sectors.
The startup is not the only identity management specialist picking up funding at the moment. Last week, Identity Engines chalked up $13 million in Series B funding, although the firm shelved plans to target the storage market, citing lack of customer demand. (See Identity Engines, and Identity Engines Raises $13M.)
The round, which brings Applied Identity's total funding to $23 million, was led by OVP Venture Partners and also included Bay Partners, Sigma Partners, and Globespan Capital Partners. (See Applied Identity Adds $8M.)
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