Ohio State Professor’s Cybersecurity Company Anchor Raises $6 Million in New Funding



Emre Koksal, founder of Anchor cybersecurity

Ohio State Professor’s Cybersecurity Company Anchor Raises $6 Million in New Funding

Anchor, a cybersecurity spinoff founded by Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Emre Koksal at The Ohio State University, recently raised $6 million in its latest funding round, signaling a significant leap in its quest to revolutionize data protection.

The company, five years into its journey, has evolved from a startup into a promising player in the cybersecurity arena.

Originally called Data Anchor, and now rebranded as Anchor, the company was initially funded with $1.25 million. Work initially had maintained a low profile, Koksal said, dedicating the initial years to product development.

Now, he said, with a robust and a transparent user-friendly product, the company has garnered attention, with more than 55 customers having widely deployed its platform.

“The company's innovative approach shifts the cybersecurity paradigm from traditional perimeter-centric methods to a data-centric model,” Koksal said. “This methodology eliminates the need for cumbersome security layers that often hinder business processes, offering a seamless blend of security and operational efficiency.”

The key to Anchor’s technology, dubbed “Data Heartbeat,” integrates security directly into the data, making it self-protecting.

Traditionally, Koksal said, data security is thought about like protecting a castle. Outside attackers are eliminated to prevent breaches into the safe zone inside. The problem is that this pathway focuses on blocking networks, devices, and people by adding more and more layers to the castle.

Anchor's core technologies, including transparent encryption and real-time chain of custody records, are underpinned by two patents assigned by The Ohio State University. These patents, covering over 50 claims, are testament to the company's cutting-edge innovations in the cybersecurity field.

“Traditional solutions have an illusion of protection, but in reality, it’s a matter of time for the perimeter to be penetrated; more importantly it is infinitely easy to steal data for insiders already in,” he said. “Anchor has the potential to change the way people think about data ownership and data control. We wanted to do it in such a simple fashion that it would finally end this war between business and security. The fundamental difference is we applied security directly integrated into the data. It doesn’t add any friction to the business processes and doesn’t make people’s lives difficult because the data itself is self-protected.”

With approximately 60 clients, including ChargePoint, Drury Hotels, and the New York Metropolitan Opera, Anchor has proven its solution's effectiveness in diverse fields. The company's unique approach to data security allows businesses to operate without the friction typically associated with high-security protocols.

Koksal said the recent funding round will enable Anchor to expand its market reach, particularly targeting enterprise-level clients. This strategic move is expected to bring Anchor’s innovative solutions to larger players on an international scale.

The company has already made significant strides, winning prestigious awards like the Gold Winner in Best Cybersecurity Startup and and Gold Winner in Cybersecurity Platform in a competitive landscape of over 800 entrants.

Looking ahead, Koksal said Anchor is poised to continue its trajectory of growth and innovation. With its recent influx of capital, the company is well-positioned to pursue its vision of changing the way businesses think about data ownership and control, making these processes simpler and more secure.

Koksal's vision extends beyond immediate commercial success; it is about fundamentally altering the cybersecurity landscape. Anchor's journey represents a pivotal moment in the industry, promising to make data protection an integral, yet unobtrusive, part of the digital age.

Category: Faculty