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This week I was lucky enough to interview Nat Kausik, the President and CEO of Bitglass. Bitglass is a cloud access security broker (CASB), meaning that Bitglass aims to allow companies to securely move data to the cloud. CASBs work to meet the growing need for protection of data that resides outside of the corporate firewalls. Nat previously started Arcot Systems which was sold to Computer Associates, before working as an entrepreneur in residence at NEA. Bitglass has raised $35 million from NEA and Norwest Venture Partners. Check out the awesome interview below!
You started and sold Arcot before the tech bubble burst and then you started your own incubator backed by some top VCs. You could’ve joined any security company, why’d you choose BitGlass?
As companies move to cloud and mobile, most of a company’s valuable data sits outside the firewall. Most security companies are focused on securing data inside the firewall. Bitglass is focused on securing data outside the firewall, a growing market.
There are a lot of players in the cloud access security broker space, how are you differentiating yourselves at BitGlass? How do you see the space evolving over the next several years?
Bitglass offers a complete solution for protecting data outside the firewall – in the cloud, at access, and on mobile devices. Other CASB competitors focus on just one of the three, while customers want complete solutions.
How do CASBs compete with traditional data loss prevention companies? As organizations move more and more data to the cloud, do you see CASBs becoming the default DLP providers?
Traditional DLP providers are focused on protecting data inside the firewall and are delivered as appliances and software. With cloud and mobile, data resides anywhere and traditional solutions are rendered obsolete.
We’ve seen a lot of funding going into the CASB space but not a lot of M&A. Why do you think this is the case and when do you think we’ll start to see some?
There is too much funding chasing too few viable companies. Some companies will fail, some already have failed. Some will get acquired. One or two will remain independent.
There are many potential use cases for a CASB (Cloud DLP, access control, insider threat protection, etc.). Which of these use cases is the most compelling to the corporations that you’re selling to?
Cloud and mobile go hand-in-hand, each needs the other to be valuable. If you compare Salesforce stock with Apple stock, you will see that they are in sync, even though they are very different business. Corporations want one solution that addresses both in a unified way.
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- The company makes software that can “purportedly access SMS, emails, web browsing and more to locate specific targets.” Leaked documents show that the company sold these services to oppressive regimes such as Sudan and Kazakhstan, despite previously denying doing so.
- A common mantra in the security space today is “you can’t stop the hack, focus on mitigating the damage.” Invincea’s CEO Anup Ghosh argues against this mindset.
- WSJ profile on the coder, praised by Edward Snowden, whose encryption technologies have been used by companies like WhatsApp and Twitter.