Skyhigh Networks gets $20M to lift IT out of the shadows

The use of shadow IT — storing and sharing files on non-sanctioned clouds from Box, Dropbox and others, partly propelled by the bring-your-own-device trend — is not news, because it’s been going on for years despite the compliance and security problems it can pose. But IT leaders are fighting back, and new investment in security startup Skyhigh Networks suggests that they’re hungry for tools that reveal the use of cloud services and quantify the potential for data breaches and other risks.

The company announced a $20 million Series B venture funding on Wednesday, bringing the total raised to more than $26 million. Sequoia Capital led the new round, which also contains a contribution from Greylock Partners.

Along with highlighting problematic use across multiple cloud services, the Skyhigh software also lets IT administrators take steps to minimize impact of the rogue behavior by controlling access to certain clouds and encrypting data, which could make activity more secure. Cisco (s csco) and Equinix (s eqix) use the Skyhigh product. Skyhigh wants to add more customers and also invest in marketing and engineering with the new funding.

The news falls in line with an increase in investments in security recently. In addition to the Skyhigh investment, Blue Coat Systems has announced plans to acquire Solera Networks, and McAfee said it would buy Stonesoft.

But shadow IT is just one challenge facing CIOs these days, along with the push to try cloud services and implement big data projects. My colleague Barb Darrow will discuss challenges like these with the CIOs of the Clorox Co. and the Pabst Brewing Co. at GigaOM’s Structure conference in San Francisco on June 19.

Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock user alexmillos.