Hear from CIOs, CTOs, and other C-level and senior execs on data and AI strategies at the Future of Work Summit this January 12, 2022. Learn more
Polymer, which today announced raising a $4 million seed round, said that its no-code platform for automated data loss prevention (DLP) for software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps heavily leverages AI technologies such as natural language processing. The product provides automated remediation of data breaches and leak risks from third-party SaaS apps such as Slack, Dropbox, Google Drive, Zendesk, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft OneDrive, and Microsoft SharePoint.
The New York-based company, which was founded in January 2020, now has 18 customers including Signify Health, Medly Pharmacy, and Branch Insurance, Yasir Ali, founder and CEO of Polymer, told VentureBeat.
Ali is a former Wall Street and hedge fund trader who worked for companies including Barclays Capital, founded Polymer with chief technology officer Usman Malik, a longtime engineering director who previously held roles including director of software engineering at Mio.
The use of SaaS applications among businesses continues to climb, with the average organization now using approximately 110 SaaS applications — up from an average of 80 just last year, a recent report from BetterCloud found. At the same time, security violations related to SaaS files have jumped 134% this year, the report found.
Ali said that while DLP is already a core feature of any privacy and cybersecurity program, it’s becoming even more important due to the growing adoption of SaaS platforms, where sensitive data can be shared and used easily by an extended range of employees within an organization.
Polymer’s platform leverages an entity recognition engine that offers more than 90% accuracy in identifying compliance-related items “within days of going live with customers,” Ali said in an email.
The platform is “easy to deploy”—within a few minutes—and its autonomous remediation capabilities make it ideal both for small to midsize enterprises and larger enterprises, he added.
According to Ali, The Polymer platform also incorporates natural language processing that “gives us a huge advantage over competitive products.”
“Customers can currently ‘feature engineer’ the NLP to apply on-the-ground heuristics with a no-code widget,” he explained.
Meanwhile, in the near future, the company plans to release “non-reinforced learning to automatically detect suspicious usage for advanced warning and response to risks,” he said. “For example, let’s say an employee is downloading and browsing a large number of sensitive files today [in comparison to] what this person has done in the past. Is this behavior an anomaly? Is the employee stealing data? Or is there a breach in your networks where an external party has hijacked the account? Does this account need to be frozen or revoked?”
Additionally, Polymer plans to launch “plug and play” data governance and DLP that can be set up by non-technical business owners directly from the company’s website, Ali said.
The updated product features are expected in the first quarter of 2022, he said.
Ultimately, “by making security autonomous and super simple to deploy, we firmly believe we are creating a new segment in the market for first-time buyers of data loss prevention,” Ali said.
The company’s seed round of funding was led by Story Ventures, with participation from Indicator Ventures, Studio VC, Green Egg Ventures, Maccabee Ventures, Value Acceleration Group, Tensility Venture Partners, Motivate Venture Capital, and Inspiration Ventures.
The round brings Polymer to a total of $5 million in funding to date.
Using the funding, the company plans to expand from its current nine-person team to 22 employees within six months’ time.
In 2022, the company will focus on expanding its sales in part through working with indirect partners including managed security service providers, managed service providers, and resellers, Ali said.