AiThority Interview with Nati Hazut, CEO and Co-founder – Polyrize
Tell us about your journey. What led you to the Cloud Security space?
I originally started out by doing traditional network security and focusing mainly on malware research, reversing, embedded devices security, etc. But then I saw the way companies were shifting their infrastructure and collaboration services to the Cloud, and the way people were starting to rely more and more on Cloud services like SaaS and IaaS. I wanted to be on the edge of technology by going with and not against the trend of Cloud transformation, which I believe will be even more evident in the years ahead.
How have Cloud and Managed Services evolved in the last few years, and what challenges do these development trends pose to the companies?
The transformation to the Cloud began in small steps. At first, most companies used third party services that didn’t serve their core business or mission-critical tasks because the Cloud wasn’t considered safe.
But then as time went by, more companies saw the benefits of moving to the Cloud, particularly in terms of saving time and money. That’s when more mission-critical services were moved to the Cloud, including collaboration services, CRMs, HR systems (currently, referred to as HR Technologies), ERP systems, and IT infrastructure.
Today, the Cloud has surpassed on-premises volumes in just about every modern company. And now we see more and more companies that rely completely on Cloud services.
This transformation is extremely positive, but because the transition was so fast, both Cloud service providers and companies didn’t manage to reach the same level of governance (for identities and data) as they had in the on-premises days.
The Cloud environment is also more complex than ever before. Each service has its own use, terminology, logic, and access control mechanism. It requires a lot of expertise to manage Cloud services properly.
ML / AI have impacted virtually every industry. How is specifically impacting security?
It’s a double-edged sword. On one hand, ML/AI helps network security teams to create correlations that were really hard to do previously. There was a limit to what type of correlations you could do manually. Today, using ML/AI allows you to create tailor made security solutions for any organization. It’s challenging to adopt, but it’s constantly improving. We see companies achieving tremendous results by leveraging ML/AI solutions to protect their networks from attacks.
On the other hand, attackers are also leveraging ML/AI solutions, but for them it’s to locate and exploit vulnerabilities – and do so on a larger scale. Again, that’s why it’s so important to stay one step ahead of them.
Authentication (i.e. IDaaS) seems to be logical first step in access security. What’s next in the process, and why is it important?
Authorization is the answer here. Once a user has proven to be the identity he claims to be, the question is, does this user have the right amount of access or excessive rights. The second question is, is this user misusing his permissions?
Because the Cloud market is growing fast, we’ve entered this situation wherein the on-premises world, you have many layers of security. In the Cloud – the most exposed and error-prone environment – you rely on one or two solutions in the best case.
Current security solutions such as CASBs cannot differentiate between those users simply exhibiting risky behavior and those who also have excessive access to sensitive resources. This limits security teams’ ability to quickly zero-in on the latter to minimize their potential financial and reputational impact resulting from a compromised account or data breach.
What’s Polyrize’s role in all of this? How would a company use your technology?
Polyrize enables security teams to accurately identify Cloud users most likely to expose their organization to substantial financial or reputational impact in the event of an account compromise or data breach. Our technology at Polyrize quickly takes action to reduce their potential blast radius by right sizing their privileges, adjusting resource sharing permissions, and closing identity-related security gaps. This is achieved by generating a multi-dimensional Identity Impact Model for each Cloud user that correlates their identities, access privileges, resource sharing permissions, and all Cloud activities across the public Cloud.
What advice would you have for a budding SecOps professional entering the space today?
I would advise them to establish a solid knowledge foundation that includes a command of the basic requirements – starting with network infrastructure. Understand your environment first. Keep the deployment of super-sophisticated solutions to the right extent. Eighty percent of problems can be solved by mastering the basics.
There’s a lot of noise in the market. Understand the basics first and then you can move into the ad-hoc and more sophisticated solutions and technologies.
What are some related technologies out in the market that you are excited about?
On the software side, I’m very excited about the technologies that power autonomous security and how they are driving the transition from manual human work to autonomous work in cybersecurity. Security teams need to move faster than the hackers. A big part of staying one step ahead of them is autonomously finding new vulnerabilities, proactively fixing them, and then figuring out how to move even faster in a threat landscape that’s constantly changing.
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Todd McKinnon, CEO and co-Founder of Okta is one. I’d be also interested in reading Brian Krebs’ response.
Thank you, Nati, for chatting with us!
Nati Hazut is a cybersecurity expert and entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience. Currently, he is CEO and co-founder of Polyrize. Prio to Polyrize, Nati was the co-founder of IoT cybersecurity technology platform Sam Seamless Network.
Before that, he served as an independent consultant to a number of large enterprises. He also spent six years of his career as an officer in the Israeli Intelligence Forces.