Protecting data at rest, in transit, and under query, Sotero nabs $8M

This article was originally published:

Burlington, MA – July 20, 2022

In the last few years, data privacy has become a key conversation in the enterprise, as end users become more concerned with how organizations use their data and personal information. Consequently, companies are facing a stiff challenge as they push to advance their businesses with the best data-security practices.

Hybrid work and digital business processes in the cloud have introduced new risks, as sophisticated ransomware models continue to expose customer data. In an era of virtual meetings and hybrid work, prioritizing data privacy is non-negotiable.

With privacy advocates calling for increased legislation and data privacy, U.S.-based Sotero wants to reshape the data security market with what it calls “the industry’s first data-focused security platform.” The company claims its solution protects data in all instances: at rest, during transit, and data that’s in the process of being queried. It consolidates all data instances, applications and security-point solutions into one easy-to-manage platform that provides complete visibility, governance and auditability of all data assets.

Today, Sotero announced it raised an $8 million extension of its seed round, bringing the company’s total funding to $13 million. 

Bridging gaps and plugging holes — the Sotero architecture

Sotero CTO Shanthi Boppana and CEO Purandar Das.

Founded in 2017 by CEO Purandar Das and CTO Shanthi Boppana, Sotero focuses on providing businesses with a zero-trust data security architecture that helps them to protect not only their data but also that of their clients.

Explaining the Sotero architecture and how it helps businesses plug the holes in their data security, Boppana told VentureBeat that Sotero uses proprietary and patented encryption algorithms based on AES 256 to enable data to be queried in its encrypted state. She also said Sotero uses proprietary machine learning (ML) models to identify anomalous access attempts. This helps protect enterprise data and other sensitive information while keeping them on the right side of legislation. 

According to Boppana, Sotero provides a unique data-centric security product that works on all forms of data. Sotero enables organizations to deploy a granular attribute-based data security capability that keeps data protected while in use. In addition, Sotero facilitates data governance and privacy by tracking all access to data. Sotero’s ability to operate at scale, with minimal latency across multiple deployments (on-premise, cloud, hybrid and cross-cloud) enables organizations to deploy a single product for all data security, she said.   

With main competitors including Vormetric (Thales) and Protegrity, Boppana explained that the Sotero product is ahead of competition as its rivals offer data encryption for data at rest or in transit only, while Sotero enables customers to protect their data not just at rest or in motion, but also while in use (queryable encryption). The solution also offers real-time threat detection and automated quarantine of malicious access at the data level, along with centralized encryption. 

Future plans: Expansion and unstructured data

Das noted in a press release that this additional capital will enable Sotero to accelerate its footprint in the U.S. market. The funding round was led by Israel’s OurCrowd with participation from existing investors Gutbrain Ventures, PBJ Capital, and Boston Seed Capital.

“Today, with Sotero, customers are securing structured and semi-structured data. With this funding round, we will invest resources into technology development to expand that security to unstructured data, which more than 90% of the market is struggling to protect today,” he said.

Sotero’s service pricing is consumption-based and there is a free trial available for new users.