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Cloud security investments spike prior to RSA Conference 2015

Top venture capital firms and IT companies have invested more than $200 million total on several cloud security startups in recent weeks, particularly the emerging field of cloud access security brokers.

With RSA Conference 2015 just days away, the cloud security sector has seen a veritable boom in venture capital...

investment.

The recent investments involve a number of vendors that are focused on SaaS security and improving enterprises' cloud visibility around usage patterns of authorized cloud apps as well as shadow cloud discovery.

For example, Illumio Inc., a security startup based in Sunnyvale, Calif., announced this week that it had raised a whopping $100 million in its most recent Series C financing round. The company's Adaptive Security Platform offers security policies and live traffic and usage data around applications, both on-premises and in the cloud.

The round brings Illumio's total investment over the last two years to $142 million. New investors Black Rock Funds and Accel Partners joined an existing core of big names such as Andreessen Horowitz, Microsoft Chairman John W. Thompson, Salesforce. CEO Marc Benioff and Yahoo Inc. co-founder Jerry Yang.

In addition to Illumio's big round, several other companies recently scored additional investments. HyTrust Inc., a cloud security automation firm based in Mountain View, Calif., raised $33 million in new funding earlier this month. New investors included Accelerate-IT Ventures and Vanedge Capital; all existing investors, including strategic investors Cisco Systems Inc., Fortinet Inc., Intel Corp. and VMware Inc., participated in the round. HyTrust's CloudControl adds security controls, auditing and logging to virtual environments, and its DataControl product offers encryption and encryption key management services for cloud services such as those offered by Amazon Web Services Inc.

Duo Security Inc., an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based cloud access security broker, announced this week that it raised $30 million in Series C funding. Redpoint Ventures led the round, and existing investors such as Google Ventures also participated. Duo Security specializes in providing two-factor authentication to cloud services and applications, but the company said it plans to use the funding to expand its platform to provide more insight into user behavior as well as better protection against the theft of credentials.

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What information security areas do you believe will experience the highest growth in the next few years?
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Connected devices (Internet of Things) and mobile should be big areas of growth. 
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