StormPath, which provides a secure user management and authentication service for developers, recently announced $8.2 million in Series A financing from New Enterprise Associates, Pelion Venture Partners and Flybridge Capital Partners. The company has also exited its beta period and announced general availability of its service.

"The company built a product that allows cloud service providers to 'offload' the authentication process to StormPath," writes VentureBeat's Meghan Kelly. "Authenticating a user is the same as identifying them -- giving them a place to login and prove they are who they say they are. This process, however, can be bulky and is one of the most important security measures a company can take today. Stormpath says it can do the job better than cloud service companies can; it uses an application programming interface that developers at cloud service providers can just plug into their existing products."

"We’re entering the age of plug-and-play architecture, where developers can easily and securely offload commodity infrastructure -- like user management, billing, and logging -- to API services," Stormpath CEO Alex Salazar said in a statement [PDF file]. "Developers don’t want to waste time rebuilding user login for every new app -- it’s critical to the business, but not core to their product, and getting it wrong is expensive. Sony got caught on a totally preventable mistake, and it cost them $171 million."