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Cybersecurity Innovator Elisity Closes $26-Million Round for Behavior-based Cognitive Trust Security Platform

Elisity, Inc., the pioneer of Cognitive Trust, the new platform for identity and behavior-based enterprise cybersecurity, announced a Series A funding round totaling $26 million, co-led by Two Bear Capital and AllegisCyber Capital, with previous seed investor Atlantic Bridge also participating.

Today’s funding will scale Elisity to meet enterprise demand for its cloud-delivered cybersecurity platform that can analyze the unique identity and context of people, apps, and devices—including IOT and OT—wherever they’re operating. The platform can understand, empower and dynamically adapt security from the edge to the cloud by learning behavior to assess risk, automatically and continuously optimize protection.

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Elisity is the first company to offer a single cybersecurity platform that is intelligent enough to understand how assets and people connect beyond corporate perimeters and dynamically adapt security for every user, device, data and app from the edge to the cloud. Elisity’s Cognitive Trust platform fuses identity and AI-driven behavioral intelligence to continuously assess risk and instantly optimize access, connectivity and protection policies that follow assets and people wherever they go. By integrating asset management, connectivity, and security, Elisity helps enterprise-class organizations of all sizes and industries break through today’s siloed networking-and-security group challenges.

“CISOs are facing ever increasing attack surfaces caused by the shift to remote work, reliance on cloud-based services (and often multi-cloud), and the convergence of IT/OT networks,” said Mike Goguen, founder and managing partner at Two Bear Capital. “Elisity addresses all of these problems by not only enacting a Zero Trust model, but by doing so at the edge and within the behavioral context of each interaction. We are excited to partner with the CEO, James Winebrenner, and his team as they expand the reach of their revolutionary approach to enterprise security.”

“Achieving a cybersecurity posture that understands both identity and behavior is traditionally very hard,” said Spencer Tall, managing director of AllegisCyber Capital. “The Elisity Cognitive Trust approach to solve for this was very compelling. Coupled with an exceptional management team that have successfully worked together previously, this makes Elisity a very attractive opportunity for our fund.”

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Elisity was started by three co-founders: Burjiz Pithawala, chief product officer; Sundher Narayan, chief architect; and Srinivas Sardar, vice president of engineering, who all previously held leadership roles in product development, engineering, and architecture at Cisco. The executive team is led by James Winebrenner, CEO, who led go-to-market strategy for Viptela from pre-launch through the sale to Cisco in 2017, having also held executive leadership roles at Cisco, Aviatrix, and Checkpoint Software.

“When the security perimeter is no longer the network, we see an incredible opportunity to evolve the way enterprises connect and protect their people and their assets, moving away from strict network constructs to identity and context as the basis for secure access,” said Winebrenner. “With Elisity, customers can dispense with the complexity, cost and protracted timeline enterprises usually encounter. We can onboard a new customer in as little as 45 minutes, rather than months or years, moving them to an identity-based access policy, and expanding to their cloud and on-prem footprints over time without having to rip and replace existing identity providers and network infrastructure investments. We do this without making tradeoffs between productivity for employees and the network security posture.”

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Strategic advisors include security and networking leaders such as Khalid Raza (co-founder of Viptela and CEO and founder of Graphient), Greg Akers (former SVP Advanced Security Research and Governments at Cisco), Jeff Tantsura (Internet Architecture Board), and Brian Long (co-founder and managing partner at Atlantic Bridge and on Elisity’s Board of Directors). As a result of today’s transaction, Mike Goguen and Spencer Tall will join Brian Long on the Elisity board.

“Having been a part of Elisity from the early stages, I’ve been impressed from the start with their Cognitive Trust platform and the new security paradigm and approach for the enterprise. Their technology is completely transforming the market to provide security beyond the traditional network perimeter. I am excited to be a part of this next round of funding and phase of the company’s growth.” said, Brian Long, co-founder and managing partner at Atlantic Bridge.

“The reality of distributed workforces, shadow IT and convergence of IT and OT calls for a new mindset in how security should be architected and deployed,” Pithawala concluded. “The industry must move beyond cloud-only SASE models and point products to holistic solutions that deliver protection as close as possible to the asset. Finally, our partnership with Two Bear and AllegisCyber validates the product and market opportunity and reinforces the strong, early feedback from our customers.”

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