Worth $1.1 Billion, Teleport Becomes Latest Cybersecurity Unicorn
Oakland, California-based infrastructure access management company Teleport has raised $110 million in a Series C funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners, and with the participation of Insight Partners and existing investors. This latest investment brings the total raised to $169.2 million and values the company at $1.1 billion.
The funding will be used to expand the company’s marketing operations and strengthen its R&D organization.
teleport provides identity-based infrastructure access management. As migration to the cloud increases and the hybrid work environment of home and office strengthens, secure remote access to cloud assets becomes more complex and more necessary. Teleport offers a solution that decreases the complexity and increases the security of remote access management.
Remote access is currently often fragmented or isolated. Access to Linux assets would use SSH, while access to PostgreSQL or MySQL or Kubernetes databases requires separate remote access processes. Simplifying this is part of the Teleport solution: it provides a single remote access method for all assets. CEO and co-founder Ev Kotsevoy says, “It’s like having many different TVs in your home and having one remote control device that can be used for all the different TVs.”
While increasing the convenience of remote access, Teleport also increases your security. Traditionally, access relied on secrets like passwords, private keys, access tokens, and even browser cookies. These secrets must be stored securely, but we know empirically that this is difficult, if not impossible, to guarantee.
Teleport does not use secrets: it uses identity-based access management controlled by certificates. Certificates are identities that do not require secrets. “Teleport uses the identity of every human in the organization,” Kontsevoy explained. “Teleport also uses identities for all applications and all servers and hardware devices. So by having certificates on the wire for all these pillars of computing, it allows access to be completely secrecy-free, and this makes it more secure and easier to achieve compliance.”
With no secrets to be lost or stolen, Teleport clients have a degree of immunity to credential-based attacks.
Teleport certificates are not stored, they expire automatically. They are issued when access is required, and disappear when access is complete. They cannot be reused or shared among multiple users. They can also be linked to a specific machine so that remote access is only possible from an allowed device.
The system is completely software and requires no additional infrastructure. The software is open source and may be downloaded and examined (and used) by customers and potential customers without reference to Teleport. It is infrastructure agnostic: powerful enough for large data center servers, yet small enough to fit on Raspberry Pi and IoT devices. It can be run inside a drone or an autonomous vehicle.
It is the enterprise version that Teleport sells. This can be downloaded and deployed throughout the company. “Or,” Kontsevoy said, “customers can take a cloud-hosted version, where we’ll host the access control plane for them. This considerably speeds up the implementation.”
Kontsevoy believes the increasing complexity of modern cloud environments is causing infrastructure secure access management to break down, “as evidenced,” he said, “by the increased frequency and severity of breaches.” Teleport is designed for those organizations that believe that the right way to scale access is to consolidate across all protocols and environments. “Our platform, the open source Teleport Access Plane,” she added, “addresses these challenges by giving every engineer, every piece of hardware, and every application an identity. With identity-based access to everyone and everything, more security threats are neutralized and the impact of breaches is dramatically reduced without impacting developer productivity.”
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Teleport was founded in 2015 by Alexander Klizhentas (CTO), Ev Kontsevoy (CEO), and Taylor Wakefield (COO). It raised $30 million in a Series B round in August 2021.
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