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Thought Leaders in Cyber Security: Portshift CEO Ran Ilany (Part 3)

Posted on Sunday, Jan 19th 2020

Sramana Mitra: Going back to the ecosystem, where do you sit in the ecosystem?

Ran Ilany: We start with the vendors for container and security solutions that focus on scanning. We assume that what goes to the runtime is clean. Then we provide the runtime protection based on those signatures that we generate that are based on the artifact.

In this analogy, we are complementing those types of offerings. We are competing with companies such as Aporeto which was bought by Palo Alto. There’s also New Vector which is doing some sort of network security in runtime.

In terms of who we are integrating with, our natural partners are CICD vendors. A very famous vendor will be OpenShift. This is one of our larger partners. They have their own CICD. Another example would be database vendors like JFrog.

Those types of companies provide a database for containers and artifacts. We provide protection to the runtime and, of course, the cloud vendors themselves. We are pretty much cloud-agnostic. A use case with the system is being able to traverse traffic between clouds or clusters without being totally coupled to the actual infrastructure.

What makes us unique is how we generate the identity from the technology perspective. The way we do it is the fact that we split the identity into two parts. There is the part which is generated during the CICD part and there is the part which is generated during runtime.

This is very significant because if I’m an attacker and I want to get into a runtime environment, I cannot get through because I don’t have a way to sign the artifact residing on the CICD parts. I need to be an insider to enter the runtime. If he’s an insider, there are other solutions that will solve the attack.

Sramana Mitra: I’m going to ask you about gaps and open problems in the identity space. I’m going to do it slightly differently. You understand this space well. What is the gap in Okta’s identity portfolio?

Ran Ilany: Okta is mainly focused on identities for users. We are talking about the whole space of users which needs to be identified before accessing the resources. We are talking about something that is complementary.

We want to be able to say for sure that the workload that we are identifying is identified and has permission to access the same resource that, in some cases, even the user accesses. In this context, we are complementing the Okta philosophy. PingID is another example of a company that does identity for users.

Sramana Mitra: I’m asking you questions now from an industry-level perspective. If you were to look at Okta or PingID, what are the gaps and white spaces in what they are doing?

Ran Ilany: Identifying resources and focusing on more modern environment are the main gaps I see right now. Users are usually resources that are not correlated with workloads or containers. 

Sramana Mitra: Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cyber Security: Portshift CEO Ran Ilany
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