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Serverless security startup Protego raises $2M in seed funding

The company, which has offices in Baltimore and Israel, wants to add a layer of cybersecurity to a rising area of cloud computing.

Protego wants to bring security to serverless environments. (Photo by Flickr user Yuri Samoilov, used under a Creative Commons license)

Tsion Gonen sees lots to like about serverless computing.
The form of cloud computing offers a model in which businesses pay for resources they use rather than a set amount of space. For developers, it offers a way to write code without getting too involved in the process of scaling applications or managing servers. Amazon Lamda and Google Cloud each have offerings in this area, to name a couple.
Gonen points to more and more case studies appearing at companies such as Capital OneAmtrak  and iRobot.
“Even though it’s such a new technology, because of the value and the agility and the speed, the adoption curve is amazing,” said Gonen, who goes by T.J. and previously oversaw Data Protection at Belcamp-based SafeNet, and held a CSO role after the company’s acquisition by Gemalto in 2014.
However, the new form of technology also presents new types of security challenges, as an attack could be carried out through a different medium. In early 2017, Gonen and a team of cofounders including Hillel Solow, Shali Mor, Itay Harush and Benny Zemmour began working on solutions to address the vulnerability. They developed Protego, an application platform that’s specifically built for serverless.
On Wednesday, the company reported raising $2 million in seed funding from investors led by Gula Tech Adventures, the investment firm of Tenable cofounders Ron and Cyndi Gula, Glilot Capital Partners, and the MetroSITE Group.

Protego CEO TJ Gonen. (Courtesy photo)

Protego CEO TJ Gonen. (Courtesy photo)


The platform, which is distributed to companies through a SaaS model, is designed to be up and running in 20 minutes. Gonen said it provides an automated process that scans infrastructure and limits the potential for an attack. The platform also utilizes deep learning algorithms to model normal behavior of a function, and applies it to detect threats. Gonen describes this second piece as an “alarm system.”
The platform is currently in beta. Gonen declined to name customers, but said serverless has gained momentum with IoT, adtech and media companies.
Gonen, who is based in Baltimore, said the funding will be used to further develop the platform. A team of 10 developers (working in serverless) is based in Israel, while Gonen is building the go-to-market presence for the business in Maryland. He said the company will expand when the product is ready to be marketed widely.

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