Doing business today requires trusting customers to use and share company data in the cloud, but that has become riskier than ever. The simple reason is that many businesses are missing a critical layer of data security: authorization. That is the ability to see and control who can and should take which action on which data. We're investing in Veza because it's a data security platform that makes it easy to understand and control those vital access points — and the need for visibility has never been more important.

I got to know Veza founders Tarun Thakur, Maohua Lu, and Rob Whitcher in 2020. I was impressed by their unrelenting focus on the big problem they are trying to solve and the experience they bring to the table. Tarun, Rob, and Maohua are hungry, experienced entrepreneurs, and they have gathered an impressive team to build a unique solution. Recently I sat down with the CEO, Tarun, to discuss the inception of Veza and the opportunities ahead.

veza-thumb Veza founders Tarun Thakur, Maohua Lu, and Rob Whitcher

"When you look at the last 15 years, a ton of data has moved to the cloud," Tarun explains. "As recently as 2014, modern data systems were just starting to be built. We thought if the data systems move to the cloud at the same rapid pace as applications, it's going to result in an absolute redesign of the tooling built around data. So, we talked with leaders in the space and asked what worries them most. The question kept coming back to concern about securing data in the cloud."

We think the timing is right for Veza's solution because of three trends in particular:

  1. Data is more valuable than ever. The volume of data is growing fast. We live, work and play remotely and online, requiring instant access to data, which in turn generates more data exhaust. This increase in volume has enabled a growing reliance on data-based decision-making (using ML and AI), elevating data to be a company's most valuable asset. And sharing it with the right people makes it worth even more.

  2. Data is proliferating to a wider range of new cloud systems. To support the massive expansion of data, organizations are implementing new cloud data systems, but few have fully migrated. Most organizations operate in hybrid multi-cloud environments run by multiple providers of disparate data systems, apps, compute, and infrastructure.

  3. Increased business risks of mishandling data. Organizations of every size are experiencing more frequent and severe ransomware attacks and data breaches, failed audit and compliance reviews, fines for data privacy violations, and many more.

All of these trends are accelerating, despite organizations continuing to buy more security products across the traditional market segments. Organizations need a product that's built for the hybrid multi-cloud world. Veza's comprehensive approach pulls together authorization metadata from disparate systems and presents them in a single schema: the metadata authorization graph. It's the only company that can show you the truth of your data permissions — or authorization — across your organization's entire data ecosystem. Veza is automated, comprehensive, and constantly updated. It helps companies spot anomalies and recommends ways to fix any issues.

We are proud to be an early investor in Veza, and very excited to join them as they create a new standard for data security in a hybrid-cloud world.