Sqrrl Raises $2 Million For Secure, Scalable Big Data Technology Originally Developed At NSA

Alex Williams | TechCrunch | August 20, 2012

Sqrrl, a big data startup that came out of development at the National Security Agency (NSA), has raised $2 million in seed funding from Matrix Partners and Atlas Venture. The Sqrrl technology is promised to provide a secure, scalable and easily adaptable way for companies to manage big data.

Here’s the problem with big data that Sqrrl hopes to solve: Much of the data that people want to analyze is under such regulations as HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley. You can’t put all the data together without running afoul of regulations. The alternative is to stay in compliance by taking chunks of data that then gets analyzed as a secure data set. But that can be a mess in itself as it causes a fracture with multiple analyses.

A better method, which Sqrrl sees as the opportunity, is to take different elements of a data set and make them secure down to the cell level. A health record, for instance, will have such elements as the age, gender or diagnosis of the individual. With Sqrrl, each element can be inserted instead of the entire health record. Any number of combinations of elements can be used for the data analysis. That provides a richer analysis with infinite potential combinations. The data can be secured to particular groups, further making it regulatory compliant...