Fortanix Adds Free Tier to Cloud Security Platform


By: Mary Jander

Cybersecurity firm Fortanix has released a series of free-tier options that allow would-be customers to try specific functions of the company’s broader security platform, the Data Security Manager (DSM).

Aptly named DSM Explorer, the “try before you buy” solutions include five services the vendor claims demonstrate specific types of capabilities offered by DSM.
Per the press release, the options include the following:

  • Tokenization: Secure sensitive data such as PII with random, format-preserving strings of characters known as “tokens” to achieve security and protect privacy
  • Google Cloud External Key Management: Enhanced security control by managing Google Cloud keys outside the cloud
  • Google Workspace Client-Side Encryption: Retain sole authority over cryptographic keys for encrypting data and documents in Google Workspace
  • Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) on AWS: Retain cryptographic key control for initiatives related to AWS
  • BYOK on Microsoft Azure: Retain cryptographic key control for initiatives related to Microsoft Azure

Fortanix DSM Explorer will be supported and updated by the vendor, though the free tier has a range of limits in terms of connections, number of users, applications, and operations permitted with each package.

Carefully Curated Choices

Fortanix’s choices for DSM Explorer are noteworthy. According to the vendor, they were specifically picked to demonstrate the larger platform’s capabilities to protect privacy, comply with regulations, enhance cloud security, and add management and control of cryptographic keys on popular cloud environments.

These are all features of DSM, which is offered in SaaS and on-premises versions and which has been distinguished by a combination of patented encryption, tokenization, key management, and confidential computing. In short, DSM is a comprehensive suite. It comes with accompanying hardware unit, and it’s complemented by a second product named the Enclave Development Platform (EDP), which allows developers to create programs based on Intel’s SGX coding scheme for dividing CPU memory into separately guarded “enclaves.” (BTW, Intel is an investor in Fortanix.)

Fortanix is perceived as having made it mark as a confidential computing pioneer. But allowing customers to try some other DSM functions is designed to encourage the adoption of Fortanix services by firms slightly smaller than the large and medium-sized enterprises that have helped the company thrive so far. It's a savvy go-to-market step that could help Fortanix maneuver its way toward greater growth.

"[W]e realized that enterprises with selective use-cases, or smaller companies could benefit from a different engagement approach - one that was more amenable to use-cases that didn’t require the 'whole enchilada,'" wrote Shashi Kiran, CMO at Fortanix, in a blog about the release.

Leveraging Success to Compete

Fortanix has been moving ahead impressively since its founding in Mountain View, California, in 2016. In September 2022, the company raised $90 million in a Series C round led by the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management with participation from GiantLeap Capital and existing investors Foundation Capital, Intel Capital, Neotribe Ventures, and In-Q-Tel. Fortanix has now raised over $122 million. It lists 214 employees on LinkedIn.

The vendor will no doubt need these resources to help leverage its current success in an increasingly competitive environment. Indeed, security has risen to the top of enterprise concerns regarding cloud computing, especially with the growth in multicloud environments.

The explosion of activity surrounding cloud security is evident in the growth of the Confidential Computing Consortium, which counts as members Accenture, Arm, Google, Intel, Huawei, Meta, Microsoft, and Red Hat, as well as Anjuna, CYSEC, Edgeless Systems, Profian, and NVIDIA, to name just a few. The launch of DSM Explorer should help Fortanix get out its message amid the clamor.