Laminar is the first agile data security platform that provides organizations with the visibility and control they need to achieve security, privacy, and governance in the cloud. Pulse 2.0 interviewed Laminar co-founder and CEO Amit Shaked to learn more.
Amit Shaked’s Background
Before founding Laminar, Shaked served in Unit 8200, an Israeli Intelligence Corps unit of the Israel Defense Forces, where he focused on signal intelligence and code detection. “While in the military, I earned a master’s degree in AI and deep learning. Following Unit 8200, I went to late-stage startup Magic Leap where I strengthened my passion for data and machine learning,” said Shaked.
Formation Of Laminar
How did the idea for Laminar come together? “At the age of 14, I met my best friend and co-founder, Oran Avraham, at a special program where we attended university early. We were the youngest in the class, so naturally, we gravitated toward each other. Oran always had a passion for the technical side of problems, particularly in the security space, whereas I excelled in the overall business side and loved math solutions and puzzles. This drew us to the idea of starting a security company together,” reflected Shaked. “Because of the saturated security market, we wanted to really find a niche problem area that no existing solution could solve. Throughout various conversations with CISOs, we identified that most organizations lacked visibility into all of the data on their cloud environments. As a result, many organizations were struggling with data breaches, poor data hygiene, and compliance violations. We wanted to provide a solution that could not only shine a light on all data across multi-cloud infrastructures, but also work to classify and protect it as well.”
What has been your favorite memory working for Laminar?
“Building a world-class team and watching them create value for customers has been my favorite part of launching Laminar so far. As we engage with customers, we run many “proof of value” engagements where they are AMAZED at how quickly and accurately our software gives them visibility and gain control of their environments,” shared Shaked.
Shaked also pointed out that as a young company, inevitably the customer comes up with new use cases and capabilities that they would like to see in the product and it has been fulfilling to see the entire team pull together to:
— Understand the requirement
— Design and build a solution
— Deliver that solution to the customer in a matter of days
— Have a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) say, “Whoa, that’s cool”. It impresses me every time and those are my favorite memories.
What are some of the challenges Shaked faced in building the company and has the current macroeconomic climate had any effect on the company? “We began working on Laminar in the midst of the early days of COVID-19. Our biggest challenge, at first, was identifying top talent that would be willing to navigate the ups and downs of early product development, fundraising, etc in the midst of a global pandemic. Luckily, we have been able to build a really strong team since the company’s inception nearly three years ago,” Shaked noted. “The current macroeconomic climate has certainly presented some challenges, but it has also created opportunities for our solution. Old manual solutions not only don’t work but are time-consuming and at a time where budgets are being tightened, customers are looking for ways to automate security processes.”
What are Laminar’s core products and features? “The Laminar Platform gives organizations the visibility and control they need to achieve data security, privacy, and governance in the cloud. As the first agile data security platform, the Laminar Platform gives organizations the visibility and control they need with autonomous and continuous data discovery, classification, and protection across all major cloud service providers (CSPs) and data warehouse environments,” Shaked revealed. “Laminar is setting the standard for what it means to secure sensitive data in the cloud by delivering the following key capabilities for multiple stakeholders (e.g., CISO, data security, privacy, and governance professionals).”
The products include:
— Data Landscape Intelligence: View your asset and data inventory with contextual intelligence from autonomous discovery and classification of all your cloud data.
— Data Security Posture Management (DSPM): Detect and safeguard sensitive data and apply risk-based prioritization to focus first on what matters most.
— Data Access Governance (DAG): Minimize blast radius from data leaks by controlling user and machine access to sensitive data and ensuring least privilege.
— Data Detection and Response (DDR): Detect data breaches as they occur to quickly contain active threats and minimize potential damage to your business.
— Privacy & Compliance: Avoid fines and reduce audit costs by ensuring data security practices align with regulations and standards. Generate audit-ready compliance reports.
Evolution Of Laminar’s Technology
How has Laminar’s technology evolved since launching? Shaked told me that since the initial GA launch of the Laminar Platform back in February of 2022, they have added several new features and enhancements, including:
— Support for all major CSPs and data warehouse environments. The Laminar Platform launched, supporting the largest CSP in AWS. In June 2022, added Microsoft Azure and announced support for Google Cloud and Snowflake in April of 2023, making it the first cloud-native data security platform to support all major CSPs and data warehouse environments.
— Support for large enterprise customization. Large enterprise customers all have specific detailed data security taxonomies and policies. Laminar allows customers to customize the settings and nomenclature to fit each customer’s taxonomy and easily customize policies to match their data security controls. In addition, Laminar added the ability to support multi-organizational businesses with global views and controlled org-level access.
— Complete data security platform capabilities. Laminar started with data discovery and classification and quickly added Data Security Posture Management (DSPM). Added to that were Data Detection and Response (DDR), Data Access Governance (DAG), and a module for privacy and compliance. All this has come together for a complete data security platform.
What have been some of Laminar’s most significant milestones? “One of Laminar’s most significant milestones was being the first seed investment by Insight Partners, the first investment by SentinelOne Ventures, and doubling our funding from our initial Series A in less than six months for a total of $67 million. Additional companies who participated in the funding include Tiger Global Management, TLV Partners, Meron Capital, and Salesforce Ventures,” Shaked highlighted. “Laminar has also been the “first” in a lot of areas, including most recently becoming the first pure-play DSPM to be named to Amazon Web Services Security Competency Partner in the data protection category and receiving Amazon’s RDS service-ready product designation. The Laminar Platform is only one of 10 security software vendors to be recognized with the RDS service-ready designation.”
Plus, Laminar has also earned the following awards:
— Placed Gold in Cybersecurity Excellence Awards 2023 (Cloud Native Security North America, Data Cloud Security in the Middle East, and Best Cybersecurity Startup)
— Global InfoSec Awards 2023 (Next-Gen DSPM)
— 2022 Fortress Cyber Security Awards (Data Protection)
— Global InfoSec Awards 2022 (Emerging Technology)
— Distinguished Vendor by TAG Cyber
Customer Success Stories
When I asked Shaked about customer success stories, he cited the following:
A medical device company came to us and mentioned how they were using a manual process to verify whether data was where it should be and was not being accessed by the wrong parties. They were specifically looking for a solution that would provide a full understanding of data stores, including RDS, DynamoDB and non-schematic (unstructured) data stores like S3 buckets. We knew exactly what to do and how to help. Upon connecting to the company’s cloud environment, we discovered all data including some unknown or “shadow” data residing in the AWS environment. Our solution then identified and classified sensitive data and built a comprehensive data catalog. The policy violations were then prioritized and remediated according to its risk profile based on sensitivity level, security posture, volume, and exposure.
A social media/dating site with over 27 million users utilizes Laminar to ensure that they are keeping their customer’s personally identifiable information (PII) private and secure. Annually they used to run a month-long manual process to prepare for an internal audit that involved many departments and hours of labor. Now with Laminar the manual processes are automated saving time and effort. Even better, they have continuous visibility throughout the year so that orphaned or unused data can be eliminated from their environment, lowering unnecessary costs as well as reducing the attack surface.
Total Addressable Market
What total addressable market (TAM) size is Laminar pursuing? “Laminar is targeting mid-to-large enterprises across industry verticals with leaders with cloud-first application deployment mentality. The total estimated available market is currently $2.5 billion and growing. Gartner estimates that by 2026 20% of companies will invest in a DSPM solution,” Shaked assessed.
Differentiation From The Competition
What differentiates Laminar from its competition? “Despite the myriad of cybersecurity and data security tools out there, three out of four organizations experienced a cloud data breach in 2022, and 93% of data security and governance professionals are concerned about shadow data. Laminar uniquely addresses the data security challenge from a cloud-native approach. Legacy data security solutions built for on-premises environments rely on connectors and are not built for dynamic and agile cloud data environments and processes,” Shaked revealed. “Laminar addresses this problem by being a truly cloud-native data security platform that autonomously, agentless, and continuously discovers, prioritizes, secures, and monitors everything in their multi-cloud infrastructure.”
Future Company Goals
What are some of Laminar’s future company goals? “Laminar is well on its way to becoming a large, independent data security and data management company that is helping the world continue to innovate with data safely. It’s on our name; we want data to have ‘laminar flow,’ meaning without turbulence so that we can help customers decouple data growth from data risk,” Shaked concluded.