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Israeli cloud security startup Sentra Inc. is entering the U.S. market today with the opening of its North American headquarters in New York City. Founded last year, the firm is tackling the growing problem of organizations losing control of their data as they migrate to the cloud.

Claiming that “the vast majority of business leaders simply do not know where their organization’s sensitive data is,” Sentra says its technology can discover all of an organization’s cloud data, classify it according to sensitivity and recommend remediation plans for data security teams.

Its focus is on ensuring that security professionals are concentrating on the most critical data, such as intellectual property, customer and sensitive employee records. Remediation plans can include eliminating duplicate shadow data, limiting access only to authorized users, and improving security when data is in motion.

Automated classification

The current iteration of Sentra’s product is installed on-premises but a software-as-a-service version is expected to be released shortly. Organizations provide examples of sensitive data that “we can use as input to understand the data we look at,” said CEO Yoav Regev. “Classification is the first value we bring to the organization,” Regev said. “In every proof of concept we’ve run we’ve found sensitive data in the cloud that customers didn’t know they had.”

Sentra says its technology cannot only spot sensitive data but determine security characteristics such as permissions and use of encryption. “We also have the unique capability to tell you if you have the same data in multiple places,” Regev said. “That avoids the problem of security controls degrading as data moves.”

After discovering data, the company’s policy engine shows all the policy violations that were found and recommends remediation steps based on the tools the customer company already has installed. “We believe in leveraging other products because we can’t do everything ourselves,” Regev said. The firm recently allied with Wiz Inc., the fast-growing provider of a cloud-native application protection platform, to provide security services.

Regev and co-founders Asaf Kochan, Ron Reiter and Yair Cohen all served in the elite Unit 8200 of the Israeli Defense Forces, which is considered to be that country’s equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency. The startup has raised $23 million from investors that include Bessemer Venture Partners LP and Zeev Ventures LLC. It expects to have 20 U.S. employees by the end of 2023, Regev said.

Image: Sentra

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