Cybersecurity startup Protenus raises $4 million in Series A funding round

Protenus protects data throughout Johns Hopkins Health System, and is in pilot stage with Inova Health System in Virginia and Maryland’s regional HIE.
By Bernie Monegain
10:57 AM
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Protenus founders Robert Lord and Nick Culberson created the company when they were students at Johns Hopkins University.

Protenus, a health data protection startup co-founded when the owners were medical students at Johns Hopkins University, has raised $4 million in Series A funding.

Arthur Ventures led the investment, joined by LionBird Venture Capital, DreamIt Ventures, Cognosante, TEDCO and the Baltimore Angels.

[Also: Snooping employees sacked, disciplined after HIPAA breach]

Protenus founders Robert Lord and Nick Culberson said they started the company to address the privacy concerns raised by the use of EHRs, particularly from insider threats and employee snooping.

“Essentially, we’ve built an immune system for patient data that identifies when medical records are accessed inappropriately,“ Culbertson said in a press statement, announcing the funding. “Our product gives health systems the ability to deeply understand how and why medical records are accessed and whether or not there is a legitimate reason to look at a given patient’s medical or financial information.”

As Culbertson explains it, Baltimore-based Protenus’ holistic approach to anomaly detection prioritizes the most suspicious events, so healthcare systems focus on actual threats, rather than noise and false positives. The easy-to-use visualizations and automated reporting take what can be a tedious and long investigation to down to resolution in a just a few minutes.

Today, Protenus protects data throughout Johns Hopkins Health System. The company is in pilot stage with Inova Health System in Virginia and Maryland’s regional HIE, CRISP, which covers interchanges of data between nearly all health systems in the Maryland/DC area.

Sage Growth Partners, a Baltimore-based Health IT consulting firm and adviser to Protenus, was instrumental in establishing the CRISP pilot. Johns Hopkins has been a partner to Protenus since the company’s inception, with the university’s dedication to protecting patient privacy serving as an a catalyst to the development of the product, the founders said.

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