Former IBM Cloud Chief Sets Sights on Hot Security Market

July 25, 2016, 11:30 AM UTC
Stackpath founder and CEO Lance Crosb

Lance Crosby, who co-founded SoftLayer, the cloud computing company IBM bought three years ago for about $2 billion, is finally ready to talk about StackPath, his cybersecurity startup.

It’s a well-funded effort; StackPath has $150 million in backing from Boston-based private equity fund ABRY Partners, and another $30 million from what Crosby calls “friends and family.”

He and co-founder Andrew Higginbotham, who headed up CenturyLink’s (CTL) cloud business, have been spreading it around: Over the past year, they’ve purchased four security startups:

  • MaxCDN built a content delivery network (CDN) with 19 global points of presence, which monitor and speed up delivery of content for some 16,000 customers.
  • Fireblade offers a web application firewall, to protect against malignant content.
  • Staminus works to stop distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
  • Cloak is a virtual private network that brings secure Wi-Fi for iOS and Mac applications.

Former SoftLayer Chief Resurfaces at Security Startup

“We view global threat intelligence like we view data centers: Not everyone needs to build one,” Crosby told Fortune in an interview. “The CDN lets you see what clean traffic looks like, the DDOS shows you the nastiest stuff, and the firewall lets you see the other nasty stuff.”

This is an ambitious undertaking. StackPath will compete with Akamai in CDNs, Prolexic, and others in DDOS—CloudFlare, which offers CDN, DDOS and firewall capabilities, for example.

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It’s goal is to make it easy for customers to use StackPath to protect their data and applications regardless of where they run—in their own data enters or in Amazon (AMZN) Web Services or IBM (IBM) SoftLayer, or other clouds.

Customers can pick and choose from the various aforementioned services, or implement them all on a subscription basis.

Toward that end it’s got a good start with the 30,000 aggregate customers of its various components. Crosby will speak more on the company’s plans and technology this week at the HostingCon technology conference.