Banyan and Unusual Ventures to provide unified Zero Trust architecture for cloud-first companies

Banyan, the industry’s first unified Zero Trust platform, announced that it is emerging from stealth and has entered a partnership with Unusual Ventures, a growth-focused investment firm.

With Banyan’s goal of providing a unified Zero Trust architecture for cloud-first companies and Unusual’s focus on partnering with market disruptors, the strategic relationship brings to market the first approach to Zero Trust that provides continuous authorization for any application or service hosted in the cloud.

“In Banyan, we saw an elite team that could help companies move beyond network security approaches to become the central nervous system for cloud security,” said John Vrionis, Managing Partner, Unusual Ventures.

“Banyan enables enterprises to protect what’s most important— the applications and corresponding data that are all too often left unprotected on cloud infrastructure.”

Banyan was founded by Jayanth Gummaraju, Stanford PhD and inventor of instant VMs at VMware; Yoshio Turner, UCLA PhD and author of 30 networking patents at HP Labs; and Tarun Desikan, Stanford MBA/MSEE and builder of 150 PaaS environments at Moovweb.

The three founders came together to consolidate fragmented approaches to Zero Trust in order to secure hybrid and multi-cloud environments that suffer from daily data breaches due to static padlock approaches and legacy network-based approaches that don’t scale in the cloud.

“While at VMware, I noticed firsthand that enterprises were getting more and more distributed— whether through using multiple clouds, distributed applications, or a global workforce,” said Jayanth Gummaraju, Co-Founder and CEO, Banyan.

“And monolithic approaches and fragmented security systems were not going to cut it in the cloud-first world. Security and policy enforcement had to be a dynamic concept that is continuously being audited, augmented, and applied. Automation and intelligence have to be key components to deliver Zero Trust. We started Banyan with this focus in mind.”

Enterprises have tried cobbling together a Zero Trust architecture by deploying multiple solutions from identity and device management vendors. These technologies take a static versus dynamic approach to cloud security and leave back-door access to cloud-hosted applications and services wide open to data breaches.

VPNs also fail to solve this problem as they perform poorly in the cloud, expose broad lateral movement for loosely-managed users, and carry high maintenance and license costs.

A new, integrated approach to Zero Trust similar to Google’s BeyondCorp-style architecture is required. Banyan’s approach focuses on three key principles:

  • Continuous authorization: Move from a single event authentication state to a continuous authorization model required for a dynamic cloud-first enterprise.
  • Intelligent trust: Utilize machine learning to provide dynamic trust access based on real-time activity across users, devices, apps, APIs, and networks.
  • Cloud protection: Cloak applications, services, and infrastructure to prevent data breaches from misconfigured or vulnerable resources that are exposed to the Internet.

“Banyan is a key part of our application security architecture, enabling us to implement fine-grained authorization policies between services,” said Ben Waugh, Security Architect, Redox.

“This is all while giving us the ability to transparently encrypt some of the legacy protocols we support, which do not provide this capability natively. We have found the Banyan team to be exceptionally knowledgeable and see potential uses ranging from external corporate clients to internal service communications.”

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