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Rubrik acquires Laminar for cloud security, data visibility

Rubrik snags Laminar Security, adding to its data security and R&D portfolio. It's a move that underscores the changes Rubrik is making to become a cybersecurity vendor.

Data backup and cybersecurity vendor Rubrik has acquired Laminar Security, a cloud data security provider.

The Laminar platform will add new capabilities for data visibility and security to customer cloud and data lake environments, according to Rubrik executives. Rubrik, which has been trying to shed its data backup beginnings and recently rebranded itself as a cybersecurity vendor, already provides visibility into customer data centers and SaaS environments, in addition to data backup and vaulting capabilities.

Details, including costs and plans for Laminar's almost 50 employees, were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close next week.

The Laminar offices, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, will become a new R&D center for Rubrik, which also operates R&D facilities in Bengaluru, India, and Palo Alto, Calif.

Data backup vendors will need to grow the diversity of their data protection portfolios to keep up with the diversity of environments customers are using, said Krista Macomber, an analyst at Futurum Group. Companies are relying on uncompromised backups as a core component of cyber-recovery as well as to identify what data might be vulnerable to attack.

"Understanding, monitoring and taking steps to improve the security posture will only continue to become more important, especially as backup data and tools are increasingly targeted by attackers," Macomber said.

Laminar tools in Rubrik SaaS

Laminar, founded in 2020, provides data governance and data visibility tools for the major public clouds, including AWS and Microsoft Azure, as well as data lake software such as Snowflake.

The platform scans data within customer environments, using AI and machine learning to categorize information via metadata, noting data owners, types of content, access dates and associated compliance risks.

Rubrik executives declined to specify how the platform will integrate into Rubrik's existing products or how the capabilities will be sold.

Mike Tornincasa, chief business officer at Rubrik, said Rubrik's sales depend on the approval of both the CISO and CIO as ransomware protection and recovery become an all-encompassing task for every facet of IT.

In cybersecurity, we say, 'You can't protect what you don't know about.' That actually applies to backups as well.
Jack PollerAnalyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

Both data protection and data security are required components of cybersecurity, said Jack Poller, an analyst at TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group.

Data protection, Rubrik's original focus, is about data availability and ensuring it can be accessed as needed. Data security, meanwhile, relates to data access and maintaining strict controls over proper usage, Poller said.

He said Laminar's security posture tools will complement Rubrik's existing cybersecurity capabilities, especially for protecting cloud infrastructure.

"In cybersecurity, we say, 'You can't protect what you don't know about.' That actually applies to backups as well," Poller said. "In a typical enterprise data center, the admins can point to every physical storage device, every application server, every database, and can easily enumerate all data stores. [Cloud] environments are much more complex -- and much more fluid and ephemeral."

The addition of cloud visibility and other security posture tools is useful to IT administrators managing backups, but complete IT protection likely won't come from just one software package, Macomber said.

"Backup vendors do need to begin speaking the language of security, to a degree," she said. "[But] the main buyers [of backup tools] continue to sit within IT. This is where it becomes important that data protection vendors avoid straying too far outside of their natural realm, and instead collaborate with partners for complementary capabilities."

Tim McCarthy is a journalist from the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.

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