Security Experts:

BalkanID Raises $6M for Intelligent IGA Technology

BalkanID, a startup with ambitious plans to disrupt the Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) space, has banked $5.75 million in seed funding to help organizations find and remediate risky privileges across SaaS and public cloud infrastructure.

The Austin, Texas company emerged from stealth Thursday with a subscription-based product that uses data science and machine learning to give defenders visibility into risky entitlements and a simplified way to manage access review and certification processes.

BalkanID is backed by Uncommon Capital, Afore Capital, Sure Ventures, and a bold-face list of prominent security leaders and tech entrepreneurs. 

The brainchild of former Bitfusion engineers Subbu Rama and Jeremy Patton (Bitfusion was acquired by VMWare) and former Whole Foods CISO Sameer Sait, Balkan ID plans to target the mid-market with a tool that uses artificial intelligence and workflow automation to provide visibility into risky entitlements and simplify the access review and certification process. 

"By helping organizations find and fix problematic entitlements across their SaaS and cloud landscape, BalkanID enables IT and security teams to integrate the principle of least privilege into security and IT operations," the company said in a note announcing the funding.

In an interview with SecurityWeek, Rama said entitlement sprawl occurs when a company grants users more access than needed to do their jobs, with no way to see or manage user permissions across multiple SaaS and public cloud environments. 

He noted that these risks are particularly severe for small-to-medium sized businesses that rely heavily on manual use of spreadsheets, emails and meetings to manage identity and access governance.

Rama said the company's technology has been fitted with a risk engine that automatically identifies risky users and those with excessive permissions or toxic combinations, risky apps, roles and privileges across the organization’s SaaS and public cloud estate. 

"The risk engine automatically updates based on a constantly evolving set of parameters, including (but not limited to) role, activity, data attributes and environment, reducing risk and preventing entitlement sprawl."

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Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. Ryan is a veteran cybersecurity strategist who has built security engagement programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and GReAT. He is a co-founder of Threatpost and the global SAS conference series. Ryan's past career as a security journalist included bylines at major technology publications including Ziff Davis eWEEK, CBS Interactive's ZDNet, PCMag and PC World. Ryan is a director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, an advisor to early-stage entrepreneurs, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanaraine.