Concept: California’s cybersecurity startup Elisity has rolled out the first combined zero-trust network and software-defined perimeter solution Elisity Cognitive Trust (ECT) to provide identity-based network access. The product suite ensures security without compromising data, making identity as a new perimeter to authorize apps, devices and users based on policies before they can communicate with critical resources.

Nature of Disruption: ECT leverages an AI algorithm to monitor user behavior and track flows continuously to make actionable recommendations. Using an organization’s assets, it overlays encrypted e-mesh between a cloud services panel (the Elisity Control Plane) and network probes (Elisity policy decision points). e-mesh is a software-defined, app-centric virtual network that runs atop existing transport networks. Only upon policy configuration, devices can connect with ECT e-mesh. If an app poses untrustworthy characteristics, then e-mesh decouples access from the underlying network. The AI algorithm helps administrators to nano-segment machine identity and traffic flow in real-time by understanding the access location and the user. It also helps them to maintain a single access policy and securely meet remote access requirements, moving workloads across clouds.

Outlook: Cloud, mobility, IoT and connected devices are driving digital transformation across industries, wherein access is still managed by legacy security solutions that lack security, visibility, and connectivity that enterprises demand. It creates challenges to manage and scale identity management policy. Also, it is difficult to provide the right level of access to the user, highlighting the inability of the system to adapt, as user behavior changes, which leads to increased attacks, cost and complexity. ECT can help sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, financial services and pharmaceuticals to mitigate cybersecurity risk and save costs. The startup has raised $7.5M in seed funding and intends to use the proceeds to scale up engineering, sales and marketing teams.

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