In late October 2014, Amit Yoran was promoted to president of RSA, the security division of EMC. And now, just months later, he finds himself assuming the duties of longtime RSA Chairman Art Coviello, who recently announced his retirement.
Big shoes to fill? That's not how Yoran approaches the task.
"I think the key to success here is not trying to fill Art's shoes," says Yoran, who was RSA's senior vice president of products before being promoted last year. "That would be ... I don't want to call it an insurmountable task, but a homework assignment that I don't think I or anyone else - any other sane person - would take on."
Instead, Yoran's focus is on refining RSA's vision, growth strategy and emerging technology. A key consideration in honing that strategy: the rise and pervasiveness of advanced threat actors - those who use zero-day exploits and evasive malware to launch attacks that gain access to critical systems and avoid detection for months or even years.
"The state of information security is at what I would characterize as a tremendous imbalance," Yoran says. "Organizations that are investing a lot of dollars in information security don't really understand the threat environment; they don't really understand the requirements of what they need to do to better protect themselves; and they don't have a strategy for getting that done."
As a result, he says, the security industry in 2015 will undergo "a very radical transformation."
In an exclusive interview, part of ISMG's Executive Sessions conversations with security industry thought-leaders, Yoran discusses:
- The challenge of succeeding RSA Chairman Art Coviello;
- Attack trends - and how RSA is responding to them;
- The information security staffing shortage and advice for the next generation of security pros.
Yoran serves as president of RSA, where he is responsible for delivering a unified customer experience across products, marketing, sales and services. Previously, he was RSA's senior vice president of products and has been a driving force behind the company's "intelligence driven security" strategy and instrumental in aligning its product portfolio to meet the new and emerging security challenges facing enterprises. In 2006, Yoran founded NetWitness Corp., a provider of network security analytic products. He served as CEO until NetWitness was acquired by RSA in 2011.
Prior to NetWitness, Yoran served as corporate director and investor in numerous information security companies. In 2003 and 2004, he served as the director of the National Cyber Security Division and US-CERT at the Department of Homeland Security. Earlier, Yoran served as the vice president of worldwide managed security services at Symantec Corp. He was the co-founder of Riptech, an IT security company, and served as its CEO until the company was acquired by Symantec in 2002. Yoran was an officer in the United States Air Force and was a founding member of the Department of Defense's Computer Emergency Response Team.