Startup takes on SaaS security with monitoring/auditing service

Adallom cloud service watches for anomalies in SaaS usage, attacks on users across enterprise networks


Startup Adallom today introduced a cloud-based offering intended to help enterprises better monitor, audit, and control use of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications by employees.

Adallom's approach relies on a proxy-based technology available as either a security service in the cloud or server-based software that can be used on premises, says Tal Klein, vice president of marketing at the Menlo Park, Calif., startup. The firm, founded in 2011,  has research-and-development roots in Israel, Klein notes, pointing out the three cofounders -- CEO Assaf Rappaport, vice president of R&D Roy Reznik and CTO Ami Luttwak -- have backgrounds in the Israeli cyber-defense forces.

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Adallom -- which means "the last line of defense" in Hebrew -- is taking the approach of analyzing user activity in every cloud-based service the enterprise makes available to users, gaining knowledge about normal patterns of activity there.

When the Adallom technology detects anomalies in SaaS usage or clearly unauthorized behavior, it can flag the security manager. It will also watch for distinct signs of trouble that there's a compromise, such as simultaneous activities that appear to put the user in two geographic locations at once, perhaps California and China.

"With this, you can say, kill the session," says Klein, explaining options for automating or manually terminating sessions or blocking content download.

Though not entirely similar, Adallom's closest competitors could be considered to be two other startups, SkyHigh Networks and Netskope, according to Klein. Adallom has received $4.5 million in venture-capital funding from Sequoia Capital.

Klein says Adallom's SAML proxy approach does not interfere with other identity-management and authentication processes used by the enterprise, including cloud-based access management and provisioning from Okta or Ping Identity, for example. Adallom's service is supported by staff in a security operations center to help address security events. The goal is to be able to provide real-time risk analysis and a clear audit trail and reporting related to SaaS-based application usage by the enterprise.

The cost for Adallom is subscription-based, typically ranging from $5 to $10 per month per user.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: MessmerE. E-mail:

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This story, "Startup takes on SaaS security with monitoring/auditing service" was originally published by Network World.

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