Tel Aviv-based Entitle, a startup that helps businesses automate how their developers gain permission to access cloud resources, today announced that it has raised a $15 million seed round led by Glilot Capital Partners, with participation from a number of angel investors, including more than 10 prominent CISOs.
The company, which was founded in 2021 by two former members of the Israeli Defense Force's Unit 8200 (a common story in the Israeli startup ecosystem), is tackling an area of cybersecurity that doesn't always get the most attention (and funding). Yet, virtually every company struggles with how to safely give its employees access to the tools they need to do their jobs -- all while ensuring that nobody else (including ex-employees with forgotten accounts) has access to these resources.
"We were drawn towards permissions management early on because of how important it was. We felt it was kind of the boring part of cybersecurity that nobody wanted anything to do with. And we saw this from the other side of things -- from what we were compromising companies for and what companies were falling for. It wasn't next-gen AI stuff. It was some IT admin who had way too much access, or some customer success guy who still had access to a customer's environment," Entitle CEO and co-founder Ron Nissim told me.
Nissim noted that the team learned a lot from talking to DevOps teams. Security teams may be in charge of managing the actual permissions management, but it's the DevOps teams that know who needs to be able to access which resources. Nissim argued that for on-prem resources, this has long been considered a solved issue, but with the rise of the cloud, the legacy tools haven't kept up, and even today, managing cloud resources still involves a lot of manual busywork -- which Entitle obviously promises to automate.
In a recent report, Microsoft noted that 95% of permissions are actually unused, and while most businesses want to move toward a Zero Trust model and implement the principle of least privilege, that's very hard to do manually (Microsoft also offers a multi-cloud permission management service called Entra, which competes with Entitle).
Image Credits: Entitle
Given this, it's maybe no surprise that one of the main use cases here is just-in-time access to sensitive resources. In part, that's because the companies that adopt a tool like Entitle want to protect their most sensitive resources and that's often where just-in-time access is a good place to start, according to Nissim. And while this is what often sells Entitle to new customers today, the company started out with a focus on access request resolution -- that is, automatically providing users with access to a given resource when they request it (or, obviously, denying those requests). But what the team realized was that being able to provide access also meant it became easier to revoke it without slowing down developers and IT teams, which in turn improved their security posture.
It's worth noting that Entitle does integrate with existing enterprise solutions and gives its users a single dashboard to manage both these existing on-prem solutions on cloud resources -- and Entitle, too, covers a limited number of on-prem use cases.
The company's customers include the likes of Lemonade, At-bay, K-Health, Bilt and Hippo.
"We invested in Entitle because its approach to solving the thorny, long-standing challenges of automatic provisioning stood out from the pack. Its platform is comprehensive, technically elegant, and the market is in real need for this type of solution," said Arik Kleinstein, co-founder and managing partner at Glilot Capital Partners. "We look forward to supporting the company as it executes on its vision to deliver frictionless permissions management."
Image Credits: Entitle