Khosla Ventures Leads $4.5 Million in Funding for DB Networks

Khosla Ventures Leads $4.5 Million in Funding for DB Networks

DB Networks, a San Diego database security equipment startup, says today it has raised $4.5 million in a Series B round of venture funding led by Khosla Ventures of Menlo Park, CA. The funding will be used to build sales and marketing for its database security equipment.

DB Networks was founded in 2009, and Brett Helm was named as chairman and CEO last March. Helm has continued to serve as the CEO of Coradiant, a San Diego developer of Web application performance management technology that BMC Software acquired for $135 million in 2005.

Helm says he helped engineer the turnaround that made the Coradiant deal possible. He may be best remembered, though, as the CEO of IPivot, an Internet appliance maker based in Poway, CA, that raised eyebrows throughout the region when it was acquired by Intel for $500 million in 1999. At IPivot, Helm helped to develop the Internet’s first secure sockets layer (SSL) acceleration appliances and Layer 7-aware traffic management equipment.

Helm says DB Networks has been developing a new generation of technology to protect financial websites against specific types of outlaw hacker attacks. “What we do,” Helm says, “is essentially check out and monitor everyone who enters” the database serving a customer’s e-commerce or financial website.

Helm says DB Network’s technology combines a network device with behavior analysis software to rapidly and automatically detect two of the most common malicious attacks on databases—a SQL Injection and a database Denial of Service attack.

In 2011, the Redwood Shores, CA, business security company Imperva reported that, “SQL injection is the most pernicious vulnerability in human computer history. From 2005 through [2011], SQL injection has been responsible for 83 percent of successful hacking-related data breaches.”

In a phone call, Helm tells me developing database security technology for e-commerce and financial websites has been extraordinarily difficult, primarily because websites are designed so Internet users can access them relatively easily.

“If a computer is asked to execute a valid request, all it can do is respond,” he says. By monitoring database traffic, however, Helm says DB Networks can thwart illicit commands.

Shirish Sathaye, a general partner at Khosla Ventures who is joining DB Networks’ board of directors, is quoted in today’s statement as saying, “DB Networks is deployed and engaged at several of the world’s leading financial institutions. We want to be instrumental in growing DB Network along with their highly experienced and successful team.”

Helm says the company has less than 20 employees, including COO Steve Hunt, who previously worked as a senior engineering executive at San Diego-based Coradiant, and VP of Engineering Dave Rosenberg, who was previously the CEO of Mountain View, CA-based WireCache.

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