Security Experts:

Identity-based Threat Detection Preempt Raises $17.5 Million

San Francisco, Calif (HQ) and Ramat Gan, Israel (R&D) threat prevention firm Preempt has raised $17.5 million in a Series B funding round supported by ClearSky, Blackstone, Intel Capital and General Catalyst. The total raised by Preempt now stands at $27.5 million, having raised $2 million as seed funding in 2014, and $8 million in a Series A round in 2016.

Preempt was founded in 2014 by Ajit Sancheti, and Roman Blachman. It is another innovative cybersecurity firm with roots into the Israeli Defense Forces, where Blachman spent almost ten years -- with four as a research and development manager.

Preempt focuses on providing security by preventing malicious transactions. It does this by identity, behavior, risk and context at the point of the transaction rather than just the point of log-in. It allows, says the company, for control over who can access what resources and in what context without network segmentation or application development.

"Our mission," explains Preempt CEO and co-founder Ajit Sancheti, "is to provide a more holistic approach around securing and protecting identity within the enterprise and to make it easier for enterprises to preempt threats before they impact the business."

In a blog published Wednesday (June 27), ClearSky's operating partner and CISO, Patrick Heim wrote, "We believe that Preempt's approach -- identity as the new perimeter, identity as a cybersecurity problem-solver -- is the future." 

The idea of identity being the true perimeter is a growing concept. It is no longer the firewall nor even the endpoint that should be considered the security perimeter -- it is each individual human. Earlier this month, Tessian co-founder and CTO Ed Bishop told SecurityWeek, "Our belief is that organizations' security has moved on from perimeter firewalls, and even endpoint security. I think we are in a third phase here, where humans are the real endpoints of the organization."

While Tessian concentrates on email security, Preempt concentrates on real-time network threat prevention -- but both do so based on user identity and behavior. 

Preempt further allows tool and protocol containment. The misuse of network tools can be controlled, and the use of hacking tools prevented. It can deeply inspect authentication protocols such as Kerberos, NTLM, RPC and LDAP, and detect known issues such as pass-the-hash.

At the same time, all user activity can be viewed in one place, including access, behavior, history, profile, changes, locations, device, role, password strength, privileges, VPN, SSO, and more.

ClearSky's Patrick Heim is joining Preempt's board of directors. "It was exciting to see Preempt take a radical new approach to solving vulnerabilities that lie at the core of virtually all enterprises and are commonly leveraged by attackers in major breaches," he said; while adding in his blog, "It's rare that [I] get truly excited about a new security technology."

Preempt already counts Fortune 500 enterprises among its customers. The new funding is intended to help the company expand operations to accelerate product innovation and its go-to-market strategy. 

Related: Stealthy Admin Accounts Found in Hybrid Office 365 Deployments 

RelatedProduct Allows Easy Addition of Multi-Factor Authentication to Any App

view counter
Kevin Townsend is a Senior Contributor at SecurityWeek. He has been writing about high tech issues since before the birth of Microsoft. For the last 15 years he has specialized in information security; and has had many thousands of articles published in dozens of different magazines – from The Times and the Financial Times to current and long-gone computer magazines.