Cybersecurity specialist Tanium is trying to redefine its trade by using a peer-to-peer system that shows the security status of every device on a corporate network -- even phones -- in real time. The startup from Emeryville, California, near Berkeley, earned a $1.75 billion valuation last month after the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz invested another $52 million, and it now counts half of the 100 top U.S. companies by revenue as clients, including Visa and Best Buy -- plus the U.S. Department of Defense.

“Most of our customers had no idea how many computers they had before we got there,” Orion Hindawi, Tanium's chief technology officer who co-founded the company with his father, David, told Forbes magazine in a new profile.

Tanium didn't reveal its annual revenue to Forbes but did say its bookings - - which are recognized over multiple years -- have increased from $2 million in 2012 to a projected $200 million or more in 2015. Tanium works with half of the top 10 banks in the U.S. and four out of the top 10 retailers, according to Forbes. Those are companies with a lot to protect, with Hindawi previously suggesting that a company with 100,000 computers could have as many as 250,000 security vulnerabilities.

“Every company has a patch management system, but they never work very well. And each of those patches fixes a known security vulnerability,” he told Re/Code in March. “It creates a situation where you're guaranteed to be fighting fires all the time.”