Investing in Material Security

My inbox holds more information about my online and offline life than any other repository. It holds access to my online accounts. It holds decades of conversations and documents around my financial, professional, academic and personal dealings. And in the name of modern cloud convenience, it is all nicely indexed and searchable.

For many of us, email is the most critical repository of information we manage. And still, there are very few controls for protecting it. It’s no wonder that email is a critical step in the attack chain for nearly all large corporate intrusions. It’s no wonder that email underlies cyber intrusions with grave political ramifications, such as the Podesta breach. Or that email is almost always linked with the theft of personal wealth online either through phishing, business email compromise, or password reset of online accounts that contain financial holdings.

It’s evident the attackers have figured this out. But the industry really hasn’t made a lot of progress to stem the issues in this most critical service—until Material Security.

It’s very rare that I’m in a pitch, and want to sign up as a user (not just an investor) by the end of the meeting. And it’s even more rare that the product is as relevant to me as an individual as it is to every corporate IT department. But that’s exactly what happened here.

Material Security is a rethink of email security to address the very evolved threat environment around email. There is a reason that email has become the leading conduit for corporate and personal attacks: It’s due to the lethal combination of containing all of our sensitive data and access to our online accounts, and having an incredibly poor set of security solutions that address the true issues.

The email security problem is a multi-modal one and Material Security’s solution addresses a number of these problems. It addresses the sensitive data problem — if an attacker accesses your inbox, they’ll not be able to access your financial statements, for example. It addresses the password reset problem — if an attacker accesses your inbox, they’ll no longer have the ability to access your other online accounts. It addresses aspects of the phishing problem — it allows users to report phishing emails within an organization in order to create a “herd immunity”. And very importantly, the product was built for cloud email, supporting Gmail and Office 365.

Generally in a post like this, I’d have a go at describing the full range of solutions and mechanisms to get there, but with Material Security, it’s best to check out the product and see for yourself. If you’re anything like myself or many of my colleagues, you’ll want it to protect your inbox immediately. That’s certainly been the case with the early customer base that’s growing at an exceptionally impressive rate.

We knew Material Security was a special company soon after meeting the founding team. Ryan, Abhishek, and Chris are an exceptionally impressive trio, with deep backgrounds in cloud infrastructure and a passion for building an iconic security company. Early meetings while getting to know each other always devolved into excited discussions on the depth of the problem, the paucity of solutions, and the potential for Material Security to have a massive impact on not just email security, but the security landscape in general.

We’re delighted to be investors in Material Security and truly believe it is on the path to becoming an iconic security company.


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