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Main article: Data recovery

All topics: 4

Donated devices are doxing your data, says new research

14:00 | 19 March

In the space of six months, one security researcher found thousands of files from dozens of computers, phones and flash drives — most of which contained personal information.

All the researcher did was scour the second-hand stores for donated and refurbished tech.

New research published by security firm Rapid7 revealed how problematic discarded technology can be. For his research, Josh Frantz bought 85 devices for $650, and found over 366,300 files, including images and documents.

After an analysis of each device, Frantz found email addresses, dates of birth, Social Security and credit card numbers, driver’s license data and passport numbers.

Only two devices were properly wiped, he said.

Shy of going into a forensic-level search, the researcher suggested he could have rinsed even more data from his cache of refurbished devices.

Although the responsibility arguably rests with the person who donates their device, Frantz said his research revealed many businesses also don’t wipe data from the devices people turn over — despite promises and guarantees to the contrary.

Discovering data from discarded drives seems only to be getting worse.

A similar experiment done in 2012 found half of the devices obtained still contained personal information. A recent study by the University of Hertfordshire reported two-thirds of the 200 USB drives bought from eBay had private and sensitive files — including wage slips, job applications, and even nude photos in some cases.

Worse, discarded devices can open people up to hacking. Researchers recently revealed that throwing away cheap Internet of Things devices can be recovered to obtain wireless network passwords, allowing an attacker to gain a foothold into a network.

It’s the latest reminder to dispose of devices properly after they’re no longer used. Data can reside on discarded computers and drives for years — often withstanding the elements. Even erasing a device to factory reset isn’t always enough to prevent data recovery.

Frantz listed among the favorite: a hammer, industrial shredding — or, for the extreme cases, thermite.

It’s not to say you shouldn’t donate. Just, maybe keep your hands the hard drive.

 


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Data management startup Rubrik confirms $180M round at a $1.3B valuation

01:11 | 29 April

Rubrik, a startup that provides data backup and recovery services for enterprises across both cloud and on-premises environments, has closed a $180 million round of funding that values the company at $1.3 billion. The news confirms a report we ran earlier this week noting that the company was raising between $150 million and $200 million.

IVP (as we noted sources told us might be the case) led the round, with Lightspeed and Greylock also participating.

The funding, co-founder Bipul Sinha told us, comes as the company hit a $100 million run rate in January of this year. “We’ve had significant traction and wanted to double down to capture the market demand that we were experiencing,” he said.

The company last year was valued at $600 million when it raised its last round of $60 million, and while it’s not yet profitable, the cash it has been generating has been enough to fuel its growth til now.

“We have not touched the capital from our last round,” said Sinha. “We have 60 million in the bank right now and we were not looking to raise capital, but we got a very strong preemptive interest across multiple investors and we decided to pull the trigger to double down on engineering and marketing.” 

Rubrik’s services today mainly run using an appliance that an enterprise uses to back up, restore and index data across both on-premises and cloud-based environments — a hybrid that represents the norm for most large organizations. Earlier this week, the company released a new product that runs natively in the cloud, bypassing the need for the appliance. It’s this that spells the future direction for the company, Sinha told TechCrunch: It will be building more cloud-first products going forward in areas that complement what it is already doing in backup and recovery, like security.

The company competes with the likes of Druva, CommVault and EMC, but the reason it has taken off as it has is because of its new and efficient approach to an old problem. “We have woken up a sleepy market,” Sinha said.

Rubrik’s beginnings makes for an interesting and instructive story for people looking at what might be an interesting area to tap for a startup. Sinha, coming from the world of VC, was used to hunting out and looking for gaps and subsequent opportunities in the market.

“I had been looking at the backup and recovery market,” he said, “and realized that it hadn’t been innovated in 10 years. I then looked at public cloud and wondered how will it be protected in the longer term. The two go together: how we can marry them and define a new standard?” From that, he called to consult with a friend, “who is now our CTO, and then two others” — these are Arvind Jain (ex-Google engineer), Soham Mazumdar (an engineer founder who sold Tagtile to Facebook and also is an ex-Googler) and Arvind Nithrakashyap (a storage and distributed system expert who is an alum of Rocket Fuel and Oracle). “We decided the power of the idea how it could look and be delivered” and were strong enough to take this idea to market, he said… and Rubrik was born.

The company also has a useful model to ramp people from prospects to paying customers: Would-be users are given the appliance for free to run competitive testing against other services. Sinha said that the conversion rate on those users has been over 75 percent — a massive win for an enterprise business.

One thing Rubrik does not plan to do much is acquisitions to grow. “This is not our focus,” said Sinha. “We believe in innovation and are still a young company and want to continue the pace of acceleration.”

Today the company employs 330 people, and it is hiring between 70 and 90 people a quarter right now, largely in engineering and product, sales and marketing, and customer support.

“The speed of adoption so far has really taken us by surprise,” he added.

Featured Image: Maciej Frolow/Getty Images

 


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Backup service Rubrik now works natively in AWS and Azure

16:00 | 25 April

Rubrik, the startup that provides data management services like backup and recovery to large enterprises, is in the process of raising between $150 million and $200 million on a valuation of $1 billion, as we reported yesterday. And as a measure of how it’s growing, today it’s announcing an expansion of its product set, specifically in cloud services.

Now Rubrik — which targets enterprises that run services in hybrid environments across both cloud and on-premise  software — can run directly in AWS and Microsoft’s Azure cloud platforms. This means that enterprises that run apps or store data on these platforms can now run Rubrik in the cloud to index, back up and recover everything.

In the past, you would have had to run this on a Rubrik data appliance stored on premises in a customer’s data center, sending the data to and from the cloud to do so. Now you can run the software fabric as an instance in the cloud to backup, recover, replicate, archive, manage and analyse your data.

The new cloud-native service also works across multiple clouds — significant since deployments across multiple clouds and on-premise services is very much the norm for many businesses, with more than 80 percent of all organizations opting for hybrid solutions that incorporate their legacy systems as well as newer platforms.

This is particularly true for large enterprises, which tend to be older and include the addition of several businesses by way of rapid, inorganic growth (M&A). This is something that is also driving a separate market for cloud aggregation and optimization services: as we reported last week, Microsoft is currently looking at buying a startup called Cloudyn specifically to pick up some of this kind of technology.

“To successfully operate in a multi-cloud world, enterprises require a backup and data management solution that frees their data from the underlying infrastructure. Rubrik encapsulates all data with rich services—policy, security, automation, access control, compliance, and search—to achieve ultimate workload and data portability across any environment,” said Bipul Sinha, co-founder and CEO, Rubrik, in a statement. “With this monumental release, enterprises can instantly access data within a hybrid cloud environment to deliver best-in-class customer experiences, streamline operations, and prepare for future innovations.”

Rubrik’s been on a growth tear in the last year, and this is what is driving the rapid pace at which the company is raising money at the moment. Today the company confirmed also that it is now on a $100 million annual run rate — a big spike considering that the company has only been selling its services for a year and a half (six quarters to be exact).

The company still would not comment on our funding story from the other day.

Featured Image: Maciej Frolow/Getty Images

 


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Data management startup Rubrik is raising up to $200M on a $1B valuation

03:43 | 25 April

Make way for another juggernaut amongst enterprise startups: Rubrik, a data backup company that only emerged from stealth in 2015, is in the process of raising between $150 million and $200 million on a valuation of $1 billion as the company enters a period of strong demand for its storage and data management products, according to sources.

TechCrunch first learned of the new fundraise via an anonymous tip. We then confirmed the details with a source close to the company. From what we understand the round is not yet closed.

It’s not clear who will be leading the round but one name we’ve heard floated is IVP — the high-profile VC firm that has been a prominent backer of major tech brands like Snap and Twitter, but also a number of key enterprise startups like Slack, Domo and Dropbox.

Other potential investors could include Rubrik’s existing investors: Greylock, Khosla and Lightspeed, where cofounder and CEO Bipul Sinha was a venture partner prior to Rubrik. Other founders include Arvind Jain (ex-Google engineer), Soham Mazumdar (an engineer founder who sold Tagtile to Facebook and also is an ex-Googler); and Arvind Nithrakashyap (a storage and distributed system expert who is an alum of Rocketfuel and Oracle).

To date the company has raised $112 million, including most recently a $60 million round led by Khosla a year ago.

There are a number of companies competing in the area of enterprise back up services including Druva, CommVault and EMC, and like these Rubrik pitches itself at large enterprises with a specifically hybrid product that is used in situations like disaster recovery, but also general IT security and daily backups.

What’s notable about Rubrik is that it aims itself at enterprises that use apps and data stored across a mixed environments that blend on-premises services and services in the cloud (the most common architecture these days). It provides a way to retrieve data from both in equally fast times. Rubrik also moves data from one environment to the other while keeping it indexed (which also makes retrieval more efficient).

The product is “really resonating” with businesses right now, a source tells us, and it’s put the company into “hyper growth mode.” Hence the push for funding to seize the moment.

Rubrik declined to comment for this story.

Featured Image: MilousSK/Shutterstock

 


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