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Browser security; the newest critical requirement for enterprises

Browser security; the newest critical requirement for enterprises

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Menlo Security is a cybersecurity vendor with a difference. Ten years ago, the company launched its pioneering Isolation-powered technology, which provides comprehensive protection for enterprises of any size, without requiring endpoint software or impacting the end-user experience. It has revolutionised the cybersecurity market by focusing on securing the web browser, where the workforce now spends three-quarters of its time and where cybercriminals are increasingly focusing their attacks. Amir Ben-Efraim, CEO, Menlo Security, spoke more about the company and how it has grown.

Tell us a bit more about your business and how it started.

In 2013 I co-founded Menlo Security with Poornima DeBolle, who is also our Chief Product Officer. Poornima and I have worked together for more than 20 years. As we looked into the security landscape after we left our previous roles, we felt there was a gap in the market.

We had the ambition and drive to change the security paradigm from what we term ‘detect and respond’ – being reactive to security threats – to prevention, which is more proactive. We pioneered Isolation technology, which protects millions of users at highly security-conscious organisations around the world, and which has adapted over the years to being a core part of our browser security offering.

How has the business grown since it started and how did you ensure growth?

We have grown through investment and organic growth. In 2020, we announced US$100 million in series E funding with a company valuation of US$800 million. In terms of growth, we are scaling on a global level driven by both regulatory requirements and the shift in tactics used by threat actors, which are designed to evade detection by commonly deployed security.

We are constantly looking at ways to innovate and evolve our technology against a new generation of highly evasive threats; the new face of ransomware and phishing attacks designed to evade traditional network security controls such as endpoint security, web security and email security.

What’s the business’ approach to management?

As a business, we look to lead from the front, and by example. But above everything we do, we always put our customers first.

What is your company’s vision and goal?

Our goal has always been to be the best at what we do, securing work for our customers around the world. With 10 years of developing industry-leading technology, we believe we do that, with Menlo Security securing more than four billion files annually for some of the largest and most security-conscious organisations.

We are proud of that but know that we cannot stand still. The industry is constantly shifting, while cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their techniques, employing the very latest tools including AI to launch their attacks. We must stay one step ahead and have just recently launched the industry’s first AI-powered suite of threat prevention capabilities, designed to detect and block highly evasive threats targeting users via the web browser.

What kind of clients and market do you serve?

We mostly work with organisations that are in highly regulated industries, including banks and other financial institutions, government and defence, healthcare and critical infrastructure. This includes Fortune 500 companies, eight of the 10 largest global financial services and large global governmental institutions, including the US Department of Defense (DoD). We also see a need for mid-sized organisations which are looking to implement an easy to deploy, easy to manage security solution to protect web use, while limiting security incidents to save time and effort for security analysts. These companies are looking for a preventative solution that stops threats before they reach the network.

What has your career looked like so far?

Many people might describe me as a ’veteran’ of the security industry, but in fact I feel like every day I am learning something new about this sector and that’s what makes it so exciting. Before co-founding Menlo Security, I was Vice President of Cloud Security at Juniper Networks, part of the team helping to define company strategy for securing the virtualised data centre, and public and private clouds. In fact, I joined as part of its acquisition of Altor Networks, where I was Founder and CEO. Even further back, I was an executive at one of the pioneers in Internet security, Check Point Software. So, I have had an amazing career path to date, working with many people who have inspired me along the way.

How do you equip your staff with skills and knowledge?

Our focus is on getting team members up and running quickly when they join and armed with the right tools from day one. We provide thorough onboarding, together with monthly training sessions and updates for all employees. We also do a monthly ‘all hands’ session.

How do you work with other executives within the C-suite to make sure your voice is heard?

We have regular offsites and strategy/planning sessions for senior executives, and C-level group meet-ups.

How do you ensure different teams in your organisation work together?

At Menlo Security, we have a series of initiatives driven by cross-functional leadership, including brainstorming and planning sessions that cover a wide range of roles and responsibilities (for example, messaging workshops), hackathons and, importantly, fun events for relationship-building and downtime.

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