Sramana Mitra: If you look at the security budgets, security has always been an active area. Part of it is because there are all sorts of creative ways in which hackers tend to find ways to penetrate organizations. Also, there’s the constantly changing architectural issues. The whole cloud thing is relatively new. There is a constant flow of innovation that happens in security. As a result, the security office at large enterprises have to deal with a lot of different things all the time, and buy technologies from startups like yourself all the time. They’ve been quite comfortable doing that.
However, one thing that has always been true about the security purchase process is that there are priorities. Every single enterprise security organization has prioritized a set of things. My question is where in that list of priorities does the proxy-based cloud security solution that you’re proposing fit?
Assaf Rappaport: That depends on the size of your organization and the business that you’re in. The financial system is usually advanced in adopting new technologies. Since there are not as many early adopters for moving to the cloud and using SaaS applications, it’s prioritized a bit lower. Usually it’s in their top three if they have projects of moving to the cloud.
If you look at other industries that have already moved to the cloud and are embracing cloud, this is probably their first priority. They know that they have 40% of the data out there and they have no clue what is going on out there and they know that they’re responsible for that. They know that if something happens with the data, they’re going to be in the newspapers. What we’re seeing is people trying to block cloud application to protect cloud application. I believe there will be more awareness in the coming years.
Sramana Mitra: Tell us a little bit about the genesis of the company. How did you get this company off the ground, and how have you built it so far?
Assaf Rappaport: For intelligence agencies around the world, their biggest problem today is not getting Big Data. As we all read about the NSA, they probably can see almost everything that organizations and people around the world are doing. Their problem is, “How do I find the terrorists that are trying to harm Homeland Security? How do I find a malicious activity in all of these activities that I’m getting?” This was part of my job at 8200. When me and my co-founder left the 8200 Unit and talked to many companies, they said that this is the biggest problem they have with cloud. They have different activities, but they will never know what a malicious activity is and which one is innocent. This is exactly what we were facing in Homeland Security. This is what’s great about our unit. We transformed the application from government use to enterprise use.