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Thought Leaders in Cyber Security: Manoj Leelanivas, CEO of Cyphort (Part 1)

Posted on Tuesday, Feb 23rd 2016

In the crowded world of Cyber Security, where is the true innovation? Manoj throws light on an esoteric area of undiscovered threats and how they are handled by Cyphort.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as to Cyphort.

Manoj Leelanivas: I’m the President and CEO of Cyphort. I started off my professional career at Cisco about 20 years ago. I was part of the team that started Juniper Networks. I was with Juniper for a long time. I had different roles at Juniper. I ran all of engineering and all the product management groups. Then I created a software business for Johnson, our CEO, which grew to be $150 million business. I ran sales for a year and a half. One fine morning, I said, “It’s time for me to create a new startup.” I’ve done the large company and I just wanted to do something different. That’s my journey to Cyphort.Sramana Mitra: You are a founder of Cyphort, yes?

Manoj Leelanivas: No, I’m not a founder. I joined Cyphort about a year and a half after its Series A. I joined in early 2013.

Sramana Mitra: What is Cyphort’s focus?

Manoj Leelanivas: Cyphort is focused on solving the next generation of advance threats, or detecting and mitigating the advance threats that go after big enterprises causing breaches like what we have seen in the entertainment vertical with Sony and financial vertical with JP Morgan. We’re focusing on finding those threats that nobody else can find and mitigating those threats. That is what we do as the next-generation security platform.

Sramana Mitra: What’s special? This is a pitch that you hear from a ton of cyber security companies. I think what would be helpful for me and the audience is to understand the ecosystem map. How do you position yourself in this crowded ecosystem?

Manoj Leelanivas: That’s a very good question. The pedigree of the company is the place to start. Then I’ll specifically go into the differentiation and why the large retailers and banks are using us today. We’ve had an amazing track in the last couple of years. If you look at why I wanted to join Cyphort, the reason was fundamentally because of how the security world has changed today compared to what it was a decade ago or five years ago. In the increasingly mobile and cloud-oriented environment of today, most of the companies’ security solutions are focused on problems that you already know.

The enterprise is completely parsed now because of cloud and mobile. The classical solutions tend to look at solving the problem from a perimeter angle. What we do is we watch the whole enterprise. We not only look for things like web and email. We look at the lateral communication between endpoints, between data centers, and servers. This is the piece that we’ve brought together to combine the whole picture on a single pane of glass. That’s the differentiation that we have because we give the complete picture of a true risk of an incident.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cyber Security: Manoj Leelanivas, CEO of Cyphort
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