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Sqrrl CEO Mark Terenzoni (Sqrrl Photo)

Cloud security is going to be an even more important topic this year than ever, thanks to the Meltdown and Spectre debacle, and Amazon Web Services bolstered its security story Tuesday with the acquisition of Sqrrl.

Sqrrl CEO Mark Terenzoni posted a message on the company’s website Tuesday afternoon confirming the deal, as noted by CNBC. Reports a few months ago signaled that AWS was eyeing the startup, which uses machine learning and threat-detection expertise to help companies detect and prevent incursions into their systems.

Fears about cloud security have long been an existential problem for cloud computing companies, even though most security experts strongly believe that companies are much better off putting their workloads inside companies like AWS, Microsoft, and Google, who have world-class security talent that most companies running their own data centers lack. Nevertheless, those fears persist, especially as AWS starts to court older and larger companies that have regulatory or compliance requirements around data handling.

And the disclosure of the Meltdown and Spectre chip design flaws, which leave almost all the computers in the world open to a novel type of attack that can read protected data, kicked off a new arms race in the security community. AWS says it has mitigated the danger from those flaws for its customers, but Spectre is a security problem that will affect everyone in the cloud and enterprise computing world for a very long time as malicious hackers race to find new ways to exploit that style of attack.

Terms of the deal for Sqrrl, based in Cambridge, Mass., were not disclosed. The company was co-founded by Adam Tuchs and Ely Kahn, who both worked for the U.S. government in security-related roles at the National Security Agency and White House’s National Security Staff, respectively. Before taking the CEO gig at Sqrrl, Terenzoni worked for Seattle’s F5 Networks as a senior vice president in charge of its Traffix business.

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