Sramana Mitra: This whole thing sounds horizontal to me. Are you applying this horizontal infrastructure to IT-specific problems?
David Gibson: Some of the first steps you take is to make sure that the assets you have are protected. Those are many of the use cases people start with, but they branch out from there. Once you have all this metadata and the analysis we bring to it, there are more use cases that follow.
What we find is that it is hard for businesses to get access to the data they want, as quickly as they need it, and in the ways they want it. Once we have identified the owner of that data, which is through activity and other metadata, we essentially put them in charge of some of the governance, and when somebody requests access to the data, the right person is involved in the approval process. The granting of access is automated. Part of the equation is that people want access to this data in new ways – through mobile devices, for example. We provide that access as well. I just started at the tip of the iceberg with these business use cases.
SM: How do you describe your target customer?
DG: Any customer that has human-generated data. Do you have file shares, an intranet, or e-mail exchange? Almost every organization has this data. It is growing very quickly, and the common questions that come up are that people don’t know who has access to it, they don’t know who is using it, they don’t know what it contains, they don’t know how to archive it correctly and they don’t know how to move it from one place to another efficiently.
SM: But you are asking these questions to IT buyers, right?
DG: Often we are. However, there are more and more places where we see businesses that are asking for this kind of functionality and driving a lot of this. One example would be the accessibility. The business often wants to get access to their data with an iPad, for example. They are complaining that it takes four days for IT to grant them access to their existing data. Maybe they are concerned that administrators can access data and nobody knows. But you are absolutely right. Primarily, IT is our gateway.
SM: You were talking about enterprise IT and mid-market IT. Where are you doing most of your work right now?
DG: The whole range. Varonis is in three areas. The first one is governance. This is what we have been doing since we started. By the way, we were founded in late 2004 and started operations in 2005. Governance is our flagship. But we also have branched into retention and migration, where we are helping to move the data between platforms and dispose of it correctly, which is becoming a hot issue as the data is growing year for year. The third area is the access – making this data available in ways that people typically associate with consumer services like Dropbox with file sync and mobile access. Any business that has 50 users or more to the largest organizations in the world – that is our sweet spot.
This segment is part 2 in the series : Thought Leaders in Big Data: Interview with David Gibson, VP of Marketing at Varonis