Today’s consumer expects connectivity at their fingertips, as well as infinite amount of cloud storage available to them for smooth operation and security. Intelligent CIO Europe caught up with Lior Kohavi, Chief Strategy Officer and EVP Advanced Solutions, Cyren, who talked all things cloud including data management, as well as some of the security challenges the technology presents.
Cyren, a leader in cloud security, provides 100% cloud Internet security solutions to enterprises to help them protect against cyberattacks and data loss. It offers Security-as-a-Service for email, sandboxing, DNS, and embedded threat intelligence solutions for security vendors and service providers.
Lior Kohavi is responsible for following the trends taking place in the security industry to ensure Cyren is leveraging its assets effectively. With a company presence in Israel, he discusses cloud usage and its ongoing development in the country, as well as talking about the technology from a more general perspective.
What kinds of challenges do you see with cloud security as the amount of data continues to grow?
We as a company strongly believe in the cloud – we are 100% in the cloud. Our philosophy is that the killer applications – Office365, Salesforce, Zoom – are moving into the cloud. The data is generated in the cloud, so the security needs to be there too. New challenges in the cloud are completely different so you need a different architecture, you need to be building the cloud and think about it as a new perimeter in a distributed way. You need to aggregate data very fast, so you need to think about a distributed network and get rid of the concept of updates. When you think about it in the security space, the minute you say ‘updates’, you are kept behind. In the cloud, you have the capability to always keep the latest state. I always know what is happening in the wild because if I associate data from different locations, I can make faster decisions. For instance, the bad guys use a lot of techniques, including machines and robots, in a distributed way and if we can collaborate and identify them in real time, that’s the beauty of the cloud – the ability to respond almost in real time.
The cloud is used as one holistic solution and you can leverage the fact that you are in a different location. The cloud is an overused term for me – the idea of the cloud in my opinion is the use of unlimited object resources. It is not limiting – you can grow and decline as you need and therefore the concept of the cloud is elastic.
I think this comes down to awareness. I would also say target audience. When you use social networking, there are some countries which are suspicious by nature. There are countries which are more easy-going, so I think there are differences in nationalities. Israel for example is very suspicious – you need to prove something before you go there. That is why a lot of Israel is focused on security solutions. You are born into that culture as we are surrounded by a lot of enemies and there is a lot of pressure to be this way. I think there are different nationalities which are moving into that, for example in America, after the 9/11 terror attack took place, there was a big change in security. In our industry, we see a huge correlation between physical security and cybersecurity.
How do you see the cloud evolving over the next 12 months?
I strongly believe that the cloud will enable new scenarios. IoT is a huge concept and we see this in new autonomous models which are using SIM cards and relying on connectivity. We’ve seen the embedded devices as one of the weak points as they fail to embed security. So, the cloud could definitely be a way of identifying some of the weaknesses and for mitigating some of the solutions as we see more and more IoT devices in the industry.
An increased amount of enterprises try to completely offload your workload and services into cloud applications which means the solutions for this need to move into the cloud. The cloud is becoming very dominant, so I definitely think that more AI, more Big Data, more Machine Learning, cloud sourcing and autonomous security will be key. Being in the cloud and understanding it can only serve as a benefit for any security company today.
How far do Israel-based enterprises rely on the cloud?
There are two elements to this; the consumer element and the enterprise or the more professional element. I think that despite the fact Israel is a very innovative country, a lot of the big retailers and a lot of the big solutions like Amazon, do not have a presence in Israel just yet. A lot of globalisation requires you to use those retailers. The common thing of the cloud is sometimes limited in relation to the consumer, because to get the goods and with some of the taxations involved, Israel is still a large consumer of the cloud in terms of online shopping etc., but I don’t think it’s number one in comparison to the US. But when you talk about technology and enterprise technology, it’s definitely cloud-driven and innovative. Almost all of the start-ups and solutions are adapting to the cloud and developing and having solutions to use in the cloud is very popular. So, I think the adoption of the cloud in Israel is probably one of the best IT talents in Israel.
How do you think the use of the cloud will develop throughout Israel?
Everybody is connected to the cloud all the time. The new consumer generation doesn’t really use email anymore, instead they use social networking sites which allow them to be instantly connected. With that in mind, the effect of the consumer on the business is continuous. The new generation is stepping into the world of work with that exact mindset in their professional work and influencing the way IT is consumed on connected devices. I think this drives a different way of thinking in the sense that you can almost create stuff in the cloud that was not possible 10-15 years ago. A lot of the building blocks when you build a solution are related to how you store data, how you organise a database, how you do storage and logging, and 80% of an enterprise product have similarities. I think Israel is one of the most innovative in cyber if you consider the number of cyber companies that deal with Israel and that have been acquired over the last 12 months.