Raising an initial $9.5 million via the Silicon Valley venture capital company Greylock Partners, Obsidian Security is about to join the cyber security landscape as a startup. The company is targeting the cloud and data center sectors with cyber safety protections based on artificial intelligence and hybrid-cloud technology.
Its founders include Cylance’s former Chief Technology Officer Glenn Chisholm, who is stepping in as CEO. He has also held the position of chief information security officer at Telstra, a large Australian telecom company.
The chief technology officer for Obsidian will be Ben Johnson, who was chief security strategist and co-founder at Carbon Black, which was bought by Bit9 in 2014, operated as Bit9 + Carbon Black, and has been known as Carbon Black since 2016.
Matt Wolff is the last member of the founding trio, also coming from Cylance, where he worked as the chief data scientist. He will hold the title chief scientist at Obsidian. Wolff also worked as a computer scientist at the U.S. National Security Agency, as did Johnson.
Details about the company’s plans are being held tight to the vest, though one of the Greylock partners who helped raise the startup funding, Asheem Chandna, has said that the company is leaning in the direction of “helping large enterprises better manage and protect user accounts both on-premise and in the cloud.” Chandna, Sarah Guo of Greylock, Chisholm, and Johnson will serve on Obsidian’s board of directors.
The company’s plans to broadly apply AI and machine learning in large networks play to the strengths of Chisholm and Wolff, who led similar efforts at Cylance.
Headquarters for the new company will be in Newport Beach, California, not far from Cylance’s facility in Irvine. Recruitment efforts for staff are underway. According to Chisholm, the goal is to build “a world-class engineering and data science team, focused on user security for hybrid environments. We’re hiring.”