Cool Startup: ProtectWise

Cybersecurity is getting a whole new look. ProtectWise, a burgeoning startup out of Denver, wants to give cybersecurity a futuristic makeover. Their enterprise security models visualize networks in a whole new way. Normally, customers using security services can interact with some kind of program that gives them graphs, number lists, spreadsheets, etc. Instead, ProtectWise’s program imagines a company’s security network as a city. That’s right: a city.

Different neighborhoods in the cityscape represent different departments, and differing shapes represent network nodes.

It might sound strange at first, but it makes sense. Networks are rife with nodes, pathways, congested areas of traffic, headquarters, central meeting points. The landscape of a modern city makes both visual and practical sense for a security system. Security engineers using ProtectWise approach the program “like you’re a city planner,” says ProtectWise CEO and co-founder Scott Chasin. Engineers should be “laying things out in whatever way makes the most sense for you.”

To say the least, ProtectWise is looking to dive headfirst into futuristic technology. They’re working on integrating the cityscape interface into virtual reality goggles or even augmented reality holograms. Their visual aesthetic emphasizes dark, powerful colors and dynamic digital movements. And their core model, the ProtectWise Grid, essentially takes a visual concept (the cityscape) and makes it the central function of the system. While network security is of course serious business, the Grid almost looks like a video game. This is important for engineers and clients because video games are designed to be visually intuitive. It’s not a drawback that it has such parallels—in fact, it’s an asset.

But it’s not all about the flashy tech. ProtectWise was recently voted one of The Channel Company’s 2017 Emerging Vendors for cybersecurity. Their model has been recognized for its advanced visibility and automated threat detection. It is also uniquely integrated with the cloud, and boasts impressive real-time analytical security tools. In fact, the ProtectWise Grid by design moves all of a network’s security to the cloud. It harnesses the cloud’s unique properties to create an unlimited retention window with high-fidelity forensics and detailed visualizations. It even uses machine learning algorithms to gather data on billions of criteria, producing endlessly detailed reports and analyses of potential and past intrusion detections.

The team at ProtectWise has been in the security business for decades, and they are taking their expertise at large security firms to a totally new vision. Founders Scott Chasin and Gene Stevens were both formerly security engineers and executives at McAfee. A number of their core team hail from McAfee, and many were part of other security startups that were eventually acquired.

ProtectWise has had few problems attracting eager investors. In total, they’ve raised over $62 million, with their largest single investment of $25 million rolling in earlier this year. This sleek security startup has a number of promising ideas and a uniquely innovative visual model. In dealing with increasingly rampant cybersecurity threats, enterprises the world over with networks to protect must find ways to keep their property in and intruders out.

Company Background

Founded: 2013
HQ: Denver, CO
Raised: $62.15M
Employee Count: ~75
Executives: Scott Chasin (CEO) and Gene Stevens (CTO)
Product: Cloud-Based Security Models with Cityscape Visual Design