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praesidio-2A new cloud security startup — founded by a veteran tech executive who previously worked at Isilon Systems, RealNetworks and Limelight Networks — has raised a fresh round of cash to help banks ward off cyberattacks.

The Seattle company, known as Praesidio and led by Edgardo Nazario, just scored $1.7 million in funding from undisclosed angel investors. Nazario, who co-founded Delve Networks and served as a group program manager at Isilon prior to its sale to EMC, said that another round will occur this summer with a formal launch of the company happening in September.

Nazario
Edgardo Nazario

The company already has four banking customers, with Nazario disclosing two: Live Oak Bank and Washington Trust. In a case study on the Praesidio Web site, Live Oak Bank said that it saw a 50 percent to 60 percent improvement in incident discovery and a proactive threat analysis that was four times faster than previous systems.

“Within a few months, the system transformed our security response from reactive to proactive, saving us tens of thousands in hard expenditures instantly—and averting fraud that could have had massive systemic and enterprise impact, with losses in the millions,” said Live Oak Bank president Neil Underwood in a statement.

Praesidio’s system includes built-in policies, alerts, and incident response designed specifically for banks.

“We have machine learning algorithms that detect anomalies in your network and automatically correlate your security events with threat intelligence sources,” said Nazario. “We also have a security operations center that actively monitors each customer’s network and informs them of potential issues and works with them to address them.”

Cybersecurity in the financial world is a big deal, with threats constantly being launched against both big and small banks. In remarks last December to the Senate Banking Committee, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association noted the seriousness of the issue.

“The destruction of financial data or the disruption of our capital markets caused by a successful cyber attack would have a ripple effect across the economy and across the globe,” SIFMA said, citing a 5-part effort to address cyberattacks against financial institutions.

Other companies attacking the problem include FireEye, Splunk, LogRhythm, HP ArcSight and IBM QRadar.

In addition to Nazario, the company’s team includes Chairman Jeffrey Lunsford, who previously served as CEO of Limelight Networks, and Director of Technology Sean Cassidy, who also previously worked at Limelight.

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