Aviva Zacks of Safety Detectives sat down with Kip Turco, CEO of StackPath, and asked him all about his company’s history.
Safety Detectives: What is the history of StackPath?
Kip Turco: StackPath‘s roots are in internet security. The company was formed five years ago with an idea of how to create robust, inherently secure internet services. On the path of doing that, the company initially focused on acquiring based security solutions such as Fireblade, a Web Application Firewall solution; Staminus, a DDoS mitigation solution; and Cloak, a Virtual Private Network solution. About a year or two into that journey, the executive team saw security would be predominant in the emergence of edge computing.
As I mentioned, we already had a good baseline of security products and then began to build our expertise to compete and build an edge computing platform. As we move forward, security is an incredibly important piece to becoming a leading platform at the edge—security being one of the major pillars required for that, and another being sophisticated edge applications, such as CDN. Last but not least is the compute platform in the vicinity to our end-users in the form of VMs, containers, bare metal, and other lightweight applications like Kubernetes.
SD: What would you say is StackPath’s flagship product?
KT: Today, I would say it is our network, which we transformed from a sophisticated CDN into a true edge platform. One of our platform’s predominant product families moving forward is edge security services and features. The reason for this is that workloads are now being moved in the opposite direction than they have for the last 10 years. Developers had been centralizing workloads to major hyperscalers, but now, in an effort to push everything closer to the end-user, developers are moving to decentralized delivery models.
That’s changing the shift in how people think about security and adding a great deal of complexity to it because now you’re not just securing applications in a large hyperscale pod and thinking about your end-users in reference to that one pod. You’re securing your application in that one pod plus in multiple global application processing points, which now creates a much more complex security paradigm. Being an edge computing provider, security is incredibly important because as you’re moving applications and data farther away from those hyperscale hubs, you have to ensure that that data and processing are always available, always up, and always secure. So that’s how security fits in for us and our fundamental platform.
SD: How would you say your company stays ahead of the competition?
KT: Innovation. We’re a good-sized company, but we’ve always kept that startup mentality. We have groups of engineering operations and technical folks who are focused on innovating regardless of what the current roadmap says. They try and keep us ahead – whether it’s from an advanced networking perspective, a security perspective, or just a processing or compute perspective. Innovation is core to the culture and DNA here in StackPath.
SD: What would you say are the worst cyberthreats today?
KT: What worries me most is what new threats might be created to exploit applications having moved from large, more defined hyperscalers out towards their end-users. As that continues, applications will have more access points and possibly can become a vulnerability to major datasets.
I think as this new delivery model—edge compute—continues to evolve, it’s really going to pressure and force security companies to innovate and evolve their products to ensure that they’re protecting applications and data end-to-end as everything is not just sitting in a centralized data center or in your office or in a hyper scalar anymore. Moving forward, you’ll have applications that are spread globally and hundreds—and in some circumstances, thousands—of sites which creates a much more complex security paradigm to be solved in relationship to the networks, the physical infrastructure, and the platforms that they’re residing on.
SD: Where do you think cybersecurity is headed in light of the pandemic?
KT: Because the pandemic has accelerated the migration of workloads to the edge, I think it’s accelerating the need for SASE offerings that protect data at the frontend network, which will become more and more predominant compared to where they’ve been in the past. And I think that’s part of the paradigm shift as you’re moving applications away from hyperscalers, closer to end-users, and having to protect many, many endpoints with many, many sensitive end-user data and applications residing there.