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Menlo Security gets $25 million to isolate, and eliminate, malware

By Dennis Keohane , written on June 8, 2015

From The News Desk

Malware. It's like the ghost in the attic of the Internet. You're always worried it's there, never see it, and, worry, that at some point, you could have Beetlejuice-style sandworms cruising through your metaphorical kitchen.

Malware is both dangerous and difficult to detect. And, almost all of the time you never know that your computer or mobile device has been affected by malicious software until it's too late.

But what if there was a malware "Ghostbusters" of sorts, that got to any potentially harmful software before it had the chance to get into your computer system? It would alleviate the constant concern that every application you download or the next email you open could either contain a virus or a data-stealing program. No?

Menlo Security, which is launching out of stealth today — with $25 million in Series B funding — believes that it has just the solution to stop malware before it becomes a problem to end users.

"We were getting increasingly frustrated by how the current solutions to malware just aren't working," said Menlo Security co-founder and CEO Amir Ben-Efraim. "It's becoming commonplace, almost every week goes by and there is a breach."

"We looked at the entire security industry, and all the products out there which do one thing: try to figure out if something is good or bad," said Ben-Efraim. "That's not working. So we came up with our 'Isolation Platform' that completely takes the malware off the table."

As opposed to being an endpoint software solution, Menlo’s "Isolation Platform" separates Web traffic, Web-based documents, and email in the cloud, and eliminates malware threats. The company uses a patented “adaptive clientless rendering” technology developed by researchers at UC Berkley that can better detect whether software is benign or harmful in an isolated cloud environment, before it can reach and affect a computer, server, or mobile device.

"It keeps malware, at bay, in the cloud, without affecting the native user experience," Ben-Efraim said of Menlo's security platform. He added that the first products that the company is taking to market are geared towards enterprises who want to prevent malware from reaching its targets through email clients and Websites. "If you are a company that uses email, or has employees that go to the Web, you've got a malware problem," the Menlo Security CEO said. "Banking, education, the financial industry, and healthcare, the problem affects companies across a broad spectrum of industries."

Ben-Efraim said that customers are often surprised that the company can actually pull of its isolation security on the cloud, before malware hits devices and computer systems. One of the companies biggest problems, he said, is getting the word out about what Menlo Security's products, which is where the Series B funding comes in.

Menlo's $25 million round or funding was led by Sutter Hill Ventures, with prior investors General Catalyst, Osage University Partners, and Engineering Capital also taking part. Ben-Efraim said that a lot of the new money will be used to expand the company's sales and marketing teams, as well as to ramp up it's engineering team to continue to iterate its product and make sure that it is stopping malware on the cloud.

"Isolation is a critical piece of the infrastructure that needs to be part of malware security going forward," Ben-Efraim said. "Everyone is playing catch up to the bad guys. Every new malware that comes up, someone needs to write some software to constantly keep up with it."

"We simply don't care... because everything is being isolated on our platform, we don't care if a new strain of malware pops up, we can deal with it," Ben-Efraim said.