Ory Raises $22.5 Million for Zero Trust Security Powered by Open Source

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Ory, which today announced a $22.5 million Series A funding round, said it plans to make its cloud identity security platform, composed largely of open source components, generally available in the third quarter of 2022. The platform ultimately focuses on “resolving zero-trust security, which is a complex set of security challenges for customers,” Ory founder and CEO Thomas Aidan Curran told VentureBeat.

The commercial Ory Cloud platform, currently in closed beta, leverages a handful of open source projects started by the company’s founders, bringing an “open source advantage” with greater transparency and peer reviews. from developers, Curran said in an email.

“If it’s not open, it’s not safe,” he said. “Ory believes that open source software is not a fad. It is an artisanal creation model that will shape an entire generation of applications in the cloud.”

Ory runs open source projects including Kratos (for identity and user management); Hydra (for securing application access and APIs); Keto (for authentication and access control); and Oathkeeper (for networks without trust). The projects have been used by a total of 10,000 customers, including Salesforce, SAP and Adobe, and have received 30,000 GitHub stars and 40 million Docker draws, according to Ory.

Zero trust

The commercial Ory Cloud platform combines many of the elements from the open source projects: identity management, authorization and access control, as well as protection for APIs and applications.

The platform makes it easier and faster for developers to set up identity infrastructure, which the company believes ultimately simplifies the process of zero trust security for cloud-native applications.

Ever-increasing cyber-attacks, especially ransomware, have prompted a growing number of companies to adopt a zero trust architecture. The concept typically involves a new approach to identity verification, where users are never inherently trusted, even after they reach the network. According to a recent report from Symmetry Systems and Osterman Research, deploying a zero-trust architecture can improve security efficiency in stopping data breaches by 144%.

With the Ory Cloud platform, users benefit from gaining a common infrastructure for access control, authorization and identity needed to effectively manage identities and associated data in cloud applications and enable zero trust.

An open approach

Ory “mainly” uses open source components within Ory Cloud, although some of Ory’s deployment infrastructure is “visible or transparent rather than pure open source,” Curran noted. Features supported in Ory Cloud include multi-factor authentication (MFA), permissions and roles, custom branding and flows, and support for the OAuth 2.0 authorization protocol and its identity layer, OpenID Connect 1.0.

In addition to Ory Cloud’s security, transparency, and peer review benefits, the platform will also be “a fraction of the price of other available services delivered at the same scale,” Curran said.

It’s in Doylestown, Pa. established company was founded in 2019 to build the Ory cloud business, four years after Curran and co-founder Aeneas Rekkas launched the first open source project. Curran previously held positions as chief technology officer of SAP’s Hybris division, while Rekkas previously worked in cloud product development at Deutsche Börse Group.

Ory’s open source projects have 100 employees and Ory itself employs 12, Curran said.

Growth financing

The Series A funding round was led by Insight Partners, Balderton Capital and In-Q-Tel. Ory has now raised a total of $25 million in funding.

Ory plans to use the funding to build out its global network infrastructure ahead of the general availability of Ory Cloud in the third quarter of 2022, Curran said. The company also plans to establish data privacy and GDPR-compliant processes, launch a Security Operations Center and expand its workforce, he said.

In addition, Ory plans to use some of the funding to help foster a “greater base of support for open source learning materials, documentation, online seminars and solution engineering,” Curran said.


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