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Podcast Episode 143: Tufin’s IPO with CEO Ruvi Kitov and Capsule8 on securing Linux at Scale

Tufin (TUFN) became the latest cyber security firm to have an initial public offering. In our first segment, we speak to its co-founder and CEO Reuven Kitov. Also: as more and more applications and workloads shift to the cloud, securing high-performance Linux environments has become a priority. In our second segment, we speak with Kelly Shortridge of the firm Capsule8, a firm that is offering attack protection for product linux environments. 

The massive IPO of ride hailing firm Lyft’s on March 28th got loads of media attention as the first “gig economy” IPO. But that company’s rapidly slumping stock price has thrown water on early investors and the prospects for other Gig economy offerings like competitor Uber.

But what about the other big trend in IPOs- let’s call it the “cyber economy?” Indeed, as information security concerns continues to be top-of-mind across industries, more and more cyber security firms are finding their way to the public markets. Zscaler, the web security firm, was ranked the Top technology IPO of 2018.

Forget the Gig Economy. What about the Cyber Economy?

The latest example, just days after Lyft’s IPO was Tufin, a 15 year old Israeli firm that began its life as a tool for managing firewalls, but has evolved into a powerful security policy management and IT orchestration and automation platform. 

Spotlight: Deepika Chauhan of Digicert on the Challenges of Securing the Internet of Things

Ruvi Kitov is the CEO and co-Founder of TUFIN

In our first segment in this week’s podcast, we speak with Reuven (Ruvi) Kitov, the CEO and co-founder of Tufin about the origin of his company and its journey from a bootstrapped startup selling a simple reporting tool to a publicly traded company.

Ruvi says that Tufin’s journey hasn’t always been easy, and included a round of lay-offs in 2015. But the company survived and – eventually – thrived by taking very little outside money and by paying close attention to the needs of its customers.

How Digital Transformation is forcing GRC to evolve

In this conversation, Ruvi and I talk about Tufin’s big breakthrough: a vision for its technology that reached beyond just selling security and into the much bigger space of IT automation.

Ruvi said the “aha” moment came after seeing how one customer who deployed all three of the company’s products had been able to knit them together into a powerful network change automation tool.

“We started thinking: how far can this get? Where will this be in 5 years,” Ruvi told me. “And what we decided was that it will be zero touch automation. People will want to request a change and for the network to just reconfigure itself in the background without the network engineer needing to do anything.”

The growing reliance on private and public clouds has raised the profile of the open source Linux operating system. Its not stretch to say that many of the applications we all rely on day to day are running on top of physical or virtual linux appliances and containers. And, as more enterprise applications migrate to the cloud, managing and securing Linux at scale has become an urgent problem. 

Securing Production Linux

Alas, when it comes to cyber security, Linux is mostly an afterthought. Most malware, after all, was designed to target Microsoft Windows systems, while Linux has been mostly an afterthought both for malware authors and anti malware firms.

Kelly Shortridge is Capsule8s Vice President of Product Strategy

But a growing list of firms has noticed the gap between legacy security tools and the needs of modern firms. One is Capsule8, which is providing realtime attack protection for Linux Production environments. In our second segment, we’re joined by Kelly Shortridge, Capsule8’s Vice President of Product Strategy. 

In this conversation, Kelly and I talk about the growing demand for security in production Linux environments and how the shift to cloud changes the calculus for doing security at scale. 

As always,  you can check our full conversation in our latest Security Ledger podcast at Blubrry. You can also listen to it on iTunes and check us out on SoundCloudStitcherRadio Public and more.

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