Identity startup Rezonate emerges from stealth with differentiated cloud identity platform

Rezonate has a new conception of how an identity platform should work, and they will be looking to channel partners to help them deliver that message.

Rezonate Identity Storyline

Today, cloud identity startup Rezonate emerged from stealth with $8.7 million in financing for its cloud identity protection platform  designed to stop attackers from breaching cloud infrastructure. The company’s cofounders are CEO Roy Akerman, the former head of Israeli Cyber Defense Operations, and CTO Ori Amiga, who led engineering teams for the Israeli government, and who previously founded an Incident Response firm. The capital comes from State of Mind Ventures and Flybridge, with participation from toDay Ventures, Merlin Ventures’ seed fund, as well as high-profile security executives, angels and strategic investors.

“There’s a big challenge here because everyone is betting on identity as the new core of security, just as they did on networking, and end point and cloud previously,” Akerman said. What Rezonate does is take the notions of identity and access, regardless of who you are. You can be a machine, you can be a developer, you can be a user, you can be a partner, but you have an identity and with identities comes your privileges to access and change data, resources, and impact the business application, your core business or your partner’s core business. And what we’re doing is that in real time, based on both configurations and behaviour, is building a map of all of those interdependencies and privileges of identities. We show misconfigurations around permissions around identity, and show you how you should close them, based on what we know about your system.”

Akerman said that the Rezonate solution has three differentiating aspects

Rezonate co-founders Roy Akerman (L) and Ori Amiga

“Our operational visibility provides a panoramic view that connects all the identities that machines and users have, and connects all the identities that machines and users have, and how you should behave in these areas,” Akerman said. “It ties them into a security posture, which determines, in simple words, if there is opportunity for attackers to breach your identity or your cloud assets now due to the identity configuration. The third one is a real time detection and response of actual attempts to breach those vulnerabilities or these misconfigurations that we figure out in the second layer. It’s important to say, this is a mesh. It’s not separate products, and these things cannot be disconnected. Nobody today is providing a platform that does all of the three together. We believe that these are inseparable.”

Akerman emphasized that Rezonate has rethought the process of interaction through which builders and security work together.

“Our holistic approach allows us to operate with every cloud and every identity provider,” he said. “It all starts with how people build together and protect together. Regardless of the technology, how do you bring the builders and the defenders to work together? Not making security lag behind as the last layer to add, but how do you resonate it into the building processes into the run time?”

The answer, Akerman said, was rethinking the work processes between security personas and builders so that security didn’t lag behind.

“You need to rewire the work processes between these two,” he emphasized. “And the area that you have to be innovative in your technology is in how you bring together two different personas, a security person that looks for risks all day, and a builder that looks from frame of action all day. The magical technology, the way that we formed our platform, is the thing that can show both the security person and the DevOps person the same reality in different depths without blasting them and bombarding them with data.”

Akerman also noted that the platform provides the ability to shut down accounts until the overall problem has been addressed.

“Since we are aware that security sometimes lags behind, and we want to make it resonate all the time, we’re providing detection and response for attempts to breach those weaknesses that you have in the cloud in the identity space,” he said. “And we’re just shutting down attacks as they’re coming until you fix the overall problem.”

Rezonate emphasizes the importance of what they term an identity storyline.

“An identity storyline is an end-to-end view about all of your identities and what they can do to the database level, to the network level, to every asset on the cloud,” Akerman said. “You have an identity, but this identity has a lot of privileges that are interconnected. So there’s a transitivity right between who you are, what you are privileged to do, and what this thing that you’re privileged to do on have privileges on. And the number one rule was that everybody needs to understand it in 50 seconds.”

Akerman said they use the term storyline because the purpose is operational.

“We want you to be able to change the story based on what you’re seeing,” he said. “This is the idea. Everything in Rezonate is about being able to respond promptly to dangers or risk or whatever and to change the storyline and to have the verification that you’ve changed it.”

Rezonate is starting as a purely cloud-based solution, not a hybrid one.

“We decided to tackle the cloud first because we are in the generation of migrators who have shifted from on-prem to cloud,” Akerman said. “Even if you have an on-prem solution, you’re migrating, you’re connecting with partners, your customers are in the cloud. So first and foremost, we’re helping you to migrate.  Rezonate can help you to sync your on-prem identities into the cloud and get greater visibility on top of them. We’re not planning however, at least in the next year or so, to be installed on 100% on-prem customers.”

Rezonate sees themselves as more co-operative than competitive with other identity vendors.

“It’s a fundamental strategy that we have, not in order to not create enemies in the market, but to be more orchestrative, or a muscle that operates all,” Akerman said. “We believe that there will not be one identity player. The world is going to several points of truths, and this is how we play – the ability to connect them all together, not to display them all together, to connect them and to support this. The democratizing of identity providers, this is what we’re doing. So we’re orchestrating on top of them. We’re making sure that they’re connected.”

Akerman emphasized that Rezonate has not been created to be sold for big bucks to a larger player who wants its technology.

“Not just me, but Maor, my marketing guy, who just joined. Murray my VP Product, and Ori, my partner and others, we all left very highly compensated work because we all felt that identity is the new core. And for us there’s a once in a lifetime, a once in a generation opportunity to make a change and to build a great company around that. Having M&As on mind, it’s always good to know what’s your value to play with. But we’re playing bigger here. We’re here to build something big. I want to look back in five, six years from the same seat and say, wow, we’ve created a great company.

The channel will play a key role in all this, Akerman stressed.

“I think that channel is a fundamental part of the way that we’ll go to market,” he said. “The reason is that we’re trying to solve problems not only to the Fortune 500 but also to the mid-market, to the migrators, to the companies that were born in the cloud. And sometimes these companies do not have a big security team and they will buy something from a VAR. We have Maryland Ventures. They’re a reseller to the government. And they will sell the story about how us, Okta, CyberArk, and other companies are working together in order to solve the bigger problem.”

Akerman also noted that Tom Glocer, the co-founder and Executive Chairman of BlueVoyant, a big Microsoft MSP, is a private investor in them.

“We wanted to learn about the market from these lenses as well,” he said. “We want to make sure that what we’re building will resonate to the entire market. So like a channel, one or two channels to begin with, is mandatory for us.

“There’s a great opportunity here, but you need to come as a platform that covers identity and access 360, not with one or two features, but to give a complete solutions over this,” Akerman concluded. “This is what’s the market is looking for, not stacking up a lot of products together.”