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Enveil and the Challenge of Securing Data In Use

Photo by Paul IJsendoorn from Pexels

When it comes to defending your data, Enveil’s speciality is helping prevent you from losing it while you’re using it. The company, which picked up $10 million in funding last month and made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall in 2017, enables businesses to securely perform analysis on encrypted data at scale.

“Over the past three years, we’ve successfully created a market, solidified customer use cases, executed enterprise deployments, and expanded our capabilities, for protecting data in use where it is and as it is today,” company CEO and founder Ellison Anne Williams explained when the company’s Series A round was announced. She added that the funding will help the company market its ZeroReveal product suite on a “global scale” and, indeed, the company announced just a few days later that it was opening a new office in London.

Enveil VP of Sales Craig Trautman referred to the London opening as “an important first step toward expanding our footprint in the regions most directly affected by evolving global regulatory standards.”

Founded in 2016, Williams launched Enveil after years of working with institutions like the National Security Agency – where she was a Senior Researcher for more than ten years – and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. She has leveraged this experience – and advanced degrees in mathematics (algebraic combinatorics and set theoretic topology) and computer science (machine learning) – into building one of the more innovative companies in the secure data collaboration / privacy enhancing technologies industry.

In a commentary for Dark Reading last month, Williams explained how a focus on securing data itself is one of the best ways for companies to negotiate an ever-shifting regulatory environment. To avoid the “hamster wheel of compliance,” she argued, businesses should learn how to secure data rather than the “networks, applications, and endpoints” that data uses.

The biggest challenge with securing data is that one of its most critical states – the state of being used – is also the most challenging state to secure. Compared to data that is not being used – data either at rest or in transit – data in use, according to Williams, represents the “point of least resistance” for the latest generation of cybercriminals. This is in large part because many of the technologies to secure data in use have historically not been “practical enough for commercial use.”

And this is where Enveil comes in. By discovering a way to apply technologies like homomorphic encryption, that are effective defenses for data in use, in a commercial context, Enveil offers businesses in verticals ranging from financial services and supply chain finance to cloud security and healthcare a way to securely work with secure data without having to decrypt it.

Enveil’s flagship solution, its ZeroReveal Compute Fabric, is a two-party platform of a ZeroReveal Client application which resides within the enterprise, and the ZeroReveal Server application, which is located where the data is kept. Via standard APIs, the technology works alongside the business’s current protections to provide security during the data processing lifecycle. Within this solution, Enveil offers functionality to power searches of secure data (ZeroReveal Search), conduct analytic investigations on encrypted data (ZeroReveal Analytics), and support the use of secured enclaves like Intel’s SGX (ZeroReveal Enclave).

In addition to expanding geographically, Enveil is also looking to add to its team. The company is specifically looking to bring on engineering talent to support new products, as well as additional sales and marketing team members to help drive Enveil’s efforts overseas.

“Enveil is stepping up to solve a fundamental security challenge: preserve privacy while ensuring that data remains usable,” C5 Capital Managing Partner Zulfe Ali said. “By empowering organizations to secure data throughout its lifecycle, Enveil’s contributions go beyond adding business value and ensuring compliance.”