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CloudPassage, a San Francisco, Calif.-based cloud security startup, announced today that it completed a series B financing round led by Tenaya Capital and valued at $14 million.

Founded in 2010, the company has attracted $21 million in venture capital to date. CloudPassage released its flagship Halo Professional product in November 2011. Currently, the company’s client roster includes the social check-in service Foursquare and email marketing specialist StrongMail.

The funds are earmarked for CloudPassage’s cloud security software platform, says co-founder and CEO, Carson Sweet. “We’ll be extending our leadership in the IaaS security space with innovations that will change how companies look at server security altogether,” he states in a company release.

Just in time, too.

Highlighting the business opportunities in cloud security, CloudPassage cites a Forrester Research forecast that paints a $1.5 billion market by 2015. Vying for a slice of that pie is a growing number of cloud security vendors and startups. The startup is hoping that Halo will elevate its fortunes as competition heats up.

A Halo Perched on Secure Clouds

Halo is an automated data security platform that protects cloud servers and bolsters compliance efforts by providing event alerting, network access control, firewall management and vulnerability scanning. While those functions are hardly new to IT security professionals, CloudPassage lays claim to a feature set that complements the elastic nature of today’s cloud-based workloads.

Halo extends protection during cloud server bursting, cloning and migration activities. CloudPassage also boasts support for all major hypervisors and IaaS providers. The company has forged partnerships with Amazon, Rackspace, GoGrid and RightScale.

According to CloudPassage, Halo supports public, private and hybrid cloud environments and provides centralized server account management that spans across those infrastructures.

CloudPassage’s protection rests on three components. Each cloud server runs a lightweight Halo Daemon for security monitoring. It reports to, and takes commands from, the Halo Grid, which analyzes data from Halo Daemons and enforces security policies.

Finally, there’s the Halo Portal, which funnels security configuration and management into a “single pane of glass.” Halo Professional customers have access to the Halo API, allowing their applications to interface with Halo beyond its web-based interface.

Three plans make up the Halo portfolio: Basic, NetSec and Pro. Prices range from free for the Basic plan that covers 25 cloud servers, up to $0.10 per server hour for Halo’s full range of protection on an unlimited number of servers.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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