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Thought Leaders in Cyber Security: Michael DeCesare, CEO of ForeScout (Part 3)

Posted on Wednesday, Oct 11th 2017

Sramana Mitra: What do you see happening in the industry? You’ve been in the Cyber Security space for a long time. What are the key trends? How do you see the industry shaping out given the fact that there’s such an immense amount of venture activity there.

Michael DeCesare: The interesting thing about cyber is that unlike any other area of IT, it has to evolve the quickest. You have the other side of the coin where the bad guys around the world are creating new ways to go after organizations. It tends to keep the Cyber Security industry very nimble.

The attraction for me coming into a company like Forescout was that I felt like the technology itself was very solid, and that it was solving one of the future problems for organizations. When I look across the trends that are in the cyber world, there are a few that come to mind.

The first is that ten years ago, almost 100% of the traffic coming on to the network of an organization was from devices that it owned. It had time to test. It had time to load with whatever security it would want. That’s the first trend. That’s no longer the case.

The best companies are the ones that figure out how to embrace everything on to their network and figure out a way to still make sure all those devices stay safe. Because of our approach and our architecture, I saw a really awesome opportunity here.

Sramana Mitra: I like the architecture very much. It makes a lot of sense to be able to do it without having to place an agent on the device.

Michael DeCesare: Organizations can do a phenomenal job securing 99% of the activity on their network. The reality is that if they have even 1% activity that they do not know about, that’s where the bad actors are going to be drawn to. That’s the first trend that I see in the cyber world.

IoT seemed to be a far-fetched thing five years ago. I don’t have a single customer that does not have a problem of understanding what’s on their network. Most of that gap would come into the world of those other devices that are coming online. What’s crazy is we’re seeing as much growth per year in connections online as we saw in the first 20 years of the Internet combined. They come with so many flavors. That’s one trend that has been very disruptive.

The second trend is that organizations are moving from a highly-controlled and hardened data center to a much more hybrid and fluid environment and also the introduction of the cloud. As organizations are moving from that highly-controlled data center environment where maybe they didn’t have a visibility concern to this hybrid environment, it’s creating quite an opportunity for organizations like us. That’s where you’re seeing a lot of the focus of other cyber organizations as well.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cyber Security: Michael DeCesare, CEO of ForeScout
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