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Illumio raises $100m in bid to tackle weak firewalls

Security vendor will set up London office as it prepares to take on Europe.

By Jimmy Nicholls

The security vendor Illumio has closed an $100m (£68) round of funding as it prepares to push into Europe and Asia by the end of 2015.

Formed some two years ago the company has remained largely obscure for most of its life, but is now seeking to bring its Adaptive Security Platform to a wider market in a bid to combat the security dangers of more widely connected IT.

Andrew Rubin, chief executive of Illumio, said: "We believe adaptive security will end up being a very large and very important category."

Illumio’s product seeks to undo the weaknesses of the traditional firewall that has been continuously maligned by the security industry over the past year.

Specifically it takes into account businesses increasing use of cloud services and remote data centres to deliver critical infrastructure and data, as well as the trend of increasing use of mobiles.

"If you talk to a customer it feels like 80% of the time and effort is only looking at 20% of the traffic they’re trying to secure," said Rubin, referring to traditional security tools.

After the third and latest round of funding, which brings the total to $143m (£97m), Illumio will invest in research and development, marketing and expanding its operations outside of the US, with an office in the UK expected to be set up over the next few months.

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BlackRock Funds and Accel Partners are among the investors joining the firm this time round, joined by the likes of Microsoft chairman John Thompson, Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang.

"The wide range of investors supporting Illumio reflects the company’s strong traction with Fortune 500 customers, the innovation of its policy and enforcement approach, and the magnitude of the problem it solves," Thompson said.

"The technology gap enterprises face in securing the interiors of their data centres and public cloud computing platforms is creating the proving ground to seize a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver a major new platform in the security space."

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