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Concentric AI, a provider of intelligent AI-based data security solutions, has raised $14.5 million in a Series A funding round.
Concentric was founded by Karthik Krishnan (CEO), Madhu Shashanka (Chief Data Scientist) and Shankar Subramaniam (CTO and VP, Engineering) on the premise that new deep learning technologies can prevent data loss and data breaches.
They believe that AI-powered automation is the solution to today’s data security and governance problems. Risk distance analysis for autonomous risk assessment and Concentric MIND for an AI-assisted deep learning model and policy management/curation are among the patented capabilities of their breakthrough Semantic Intelligence system.
The continued growth of Internet interconnectivity has led to a proliferation of cyberattacks, many with catastrophic and terrible consequences. Concentric AI secures the future of work by autonomously securing mission-critical data buried within the millions of files and databases of today’s distributed workforce.
With the advent of remote work and the poor security mechanisms that come with it, users often transfer data through anonymous links, personal email accounts, and the cloud. This has resulted in an avalanche of sensitive information being stored in insecure areas, files being shared with the wrong people, and documents being miscategorized. According to statistics, human error is responsible for 95% of cyber security breaches.
That’s why Concentric relies on natural language processing (NLP) to identify and categorize sensitive information, assess risk, and resolve security issues—all while avoiding the overhead of rules and regulations. This allows organizations to identify outlier files that are not managed in the same way as their peers, whether in the cloud or on-premises, and prevent data loss and security breaches.
Data Security Trends
Today’s data management requires precision automation with low overhead that can handle many storage locations and large amounts of data. Concentric responds to this trend with a solution that eliminates the need for cumbersome, difficult-to-maintain rulesets or end-user engagement.
The current rules-based security paradigm is not sustainable, especially in an environment where consistency is not maintained. For example, security techniques do not automatically adapt to changing business situations such as rapid expansion or new API interactions with third parties. This makes configuration of security rules for data loss prevention products, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, user accounts, and other security technologies imprecise, inefficient, and incomplete. A rules-based security methodology can, in some cases, be too lenient or straightforward. Hackers can easily take advantage of such a setup.
Security professionals are also rarely experts on the data they protect. According to a panel of 34 sensitive data protection experts, most security professionals have no idea where their sensitive data resides because they don’t develop policies to categorize it effectively and regularly. To understand data sensitivity and proper access, security professionals must seek ongoing support and insight from content owners. Organizations often don’t realize this until they’ve spent months categorizing data and trying to assess risk, only to learn that governance is a time-consuming and ongoing effort.
Concentric is responding to this trend by reducing the expertise required for effective data security. Traditional rules-based data security systems require extensive content knowledge on the part of IT teams to develop appropriate rules and policies for data discovery. Infosec professionals can effectively protect data with Concentric without requiring knowledge of the content. Concentric’s Semantic Intelligence solution, which includes Risk Distance Analysis, an AI-powered risk assessment tool, is designed to leverage the collective wisdom of content owners to create security baselines for similar files.
With Risk Distance, finding risks no longer requires complicated rules, procedures and time-consuming end-user consultations. All that remains now is to calculate the distance between each file and the risk baseline. Concentric customers use the product to prevent data breaches, comply with data protection requirements, prevent unauthorized data sharing and automate risk mitigation processes.
Financing, customers and competitors
Ballistic Ventures, a new venture capital firm dedicated to advising and supporting early-stage cybersecurity companies, led the funding round. The investment targets the $19 billion market for data protection, access control and loss prevention. Citi Ventures also participated in the round as a strategic investment, as did current investors Core Ventures Group, Engineering Capital, Homebrew and Clear Ventures.
With these investments, the company plans to expand its current corporate customer base through increased sales and marketing efforts and expand its solution to protect a growing list of content, locations and use cases.
“Our mission is simple: we are reshaping the multi-billion dollar data security market with an autonomous solution capable of discovering, evaluating and protecting structured and unstructured content across the cloud and on-premises landscape,” said Krishnan.
There are several companies that typically compete with Concentric AI, including Varonis, Netwrix/Stealthbits, Spirion, Symantec, McAfee, and Digital Guardian, among others. However, Concentric claims to be unique in that it uses deep learning to identify sensitive customer information, intellectual property, business records, personally identifiable information, PHI and other data without the need for rules.
It also features a curated catalog of AI models for high accuracy, a SaaS solution with no ongoing management overhead, and easy, seamless integration with third-party security investments.
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