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Former Windows Chief Leads Investment Group in Security Startup

Andreesen Horowitz last week invested on an addition $52 million in security startup Tanium, adding on to the $90 million the Silicon Valley venture capital firm last year infused into the endpoint security provider. Steven Sinofsky, the president of Microsoft's Windows group until his unceremonious departure more than two years ago, is now at Andreesen Horowitz and largely leading the firm's investment in Tanium.

Tanium claims its endpoint security platform is designed to provide near real-time visibility to cyber threats against the largest of organizations. The company's vision is to scale without degradation regardless of the size of the organization or number of endpoints. The Tanium platform has two key components: Endpoint Security and Endpoint Management. Endpoint Security provides threat detection, incident response, vulnerability assessment and configuration compliance and Endpoint Management performs patch management, software distribution, asset management and asset utilization reporting.

The company claims with the Endpoint Security component of its platform it can provide 15-second threat detection and remediation, can connect to key external threat intelligence feeds and supports open standards such as OpenIOC (the open framework for sharing threat intelligence contributed by Mandiant), Yara for creating signatures that identify malware families, the Structured Threat Information eXpression (STIX) language for describing threat information and Trusted Automated eXchange of Indicator Information (TAXII). The Endpoint Management component aims to provide accurate assessments of vulnerability by providing accurate visibility of all endpoint assets.

During a CNBC interview this week, Sinofsky, who sits on Tamium's board, described the company's addressable market as up to 1 billion endpoints and argued Tanium's approach to threat detection and systems management is broader than traditional security providers currently offer.

"It's broader than any one security company, or any one in the traditional area we used to call systems management," Sinofsky said. "What's incredible about Tanium is it takes a modern and novel innovative approach to the difference between what used to be the mundane task of inventory of just tracking your PCs with the network and edge detection of companies like Palo Alto Networks and FireEye, and the like land Symantec is kind of a legacy provider of endpoint protection -- the signature files, and malware. Tanium is all about 15-second response across a billion end points in the enterprise world."

The added $52 million, which brings up the total investment up to $142 million, has doubled Tanium's valuation bringing it up to $1.75 billion, according to reports. Sinofsky declined when asked by CNBC to confirm the reported valuations.


Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/03/2015 at 12:42 PM


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