FireHost, the cloud hosting company that gained fame by offering its services to ace-hacker-turned-security-consultant Kevin Mitnick, now has $12 million in new funding. This Series D round was led by a previous backer, Stephens Group LLC — and brings total investment to about $34 million.
One priority will be to boost marketing and raise FireHost’s profile, CEO Chris Drake told me. And, given that FireHost competes with big companies like CenturyLink Savvis, Verizon Terremark and AT&T, it’s a bit of a David against several Goliaths.
Drake makes some big claims for his cloud: “What we offer is a way to protect customers from the Chinese and the Russians as well as themselves — you should be as concerned with your database administrator as you are with the NSA because if that person goes rogue, you’re in trouble.”
The company obviously hoped that proving it could protect Mitnick — who gets the service for free — from all comers would be useful but he is just one of several high-profile users. Paying customers include Wal-Mart (the Stephens Group helped take the retail giant public), Kaiser Permanente and Casio, as well as high-profile sites for Rush Limbaugh, the Clinton Foundation and the magician David Copperfield all of which are magnets for hackers. (David Copperfield, really?)
FireHost is based in Dallas, but hosts cloud servers in Phoenix, London and Amsterdam as well.
“Mitnick has been using us since 2009 and there have been more than 1 million block attempts and zero breaches,” Drake said. As Derrick Harris reported last year Mitnick is happy with FireHost but still does not trust any valuable or mission-critical data to any cloud.