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Stealthy SDN security play vArmour gets $6M

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Networking security startup vArmour Networks raised $6 million in first round funding led by Highland Capital Partners, bringing the company’s total funding to $8 million. The startup, formed in January 2011 by two veterans from NetScreen, plans to use the funding to launch the company and for customer sales.

The company doesn’t want to say exactly what it does beyond a bit of marketing mumbo jumbo that essentially boils down to taking advantage of software-defined networking to offer a better security product. It does say the “solutions” it makes are being tested at several enterprise customers and service providers.

The rise of software-defined networking will likely be a boon to security-conscious companies, because they will be able to secure different network traffic based on a much more granular level without expending much effort. In software-defined networks, all movement of packets across the network are defined as “flows” and security personnel can assign different rules for every single flow if they want to.

The opportunity is big, but it’s unclear what vArmour will be doing, although it is a partner in Big Switch’s ecosystem, which means it probably will support Open Flow. In a document over at Big Switch, vArmour says it plans to offer a flow-based security product that can work across a virtualized environment.

Since this is a space that’s set to heat up, I’ll borrow from industry expert Christopher Hoff who laid out the types of security people need to think about with software defined networks last week. From his blog:

When I think about how to categorize the intersection of “SDN” and “Security,” I think about it the same way I have with virtualization and Cloud:

Securing SDN (Securing the SDN components)
SDN Security Services (How do I take security and use SDN to deliver security as a service)
Security via SDN (What NEW security capabilities can be derived from SDN)

There are numerous opportunities with each of these categories to really make a difference to security in the coming years.

The notion that many of our network and security capabilities are becoming programmatic means we *really* need to focus on securing SDN solutions, especially given the potential for abuse given the separation of the various channels.

Go read the whole thing and when vArmour finally gets around to telling us what it does, you’ll be well-prepared to understand where it fits in.

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