Aviva Zacks of Safety Detectives sat down with Yoni Leitersdorf, Founder and CEO of Indeni. She got the chance to ask him about what his company does to automate solutions for major enterprises.
Safety Detective: What motivated you to start Indeni?
Yoni Leitersdorf: I used to work at Check Point, the Israeli firewall vendor. My role there was customer-facing, so I had the chance to ask them what we could improve for them in their firewall products. The Check Point customers kept coming back to the same set of issues. They complained that firewalls are very complicated and security in enterprises is generally very complicated and required a lot of effort. They said it was too hard to make sure that they were up to date on all the requirements, the new versions, and the configuration guidelines that Check Point and other vendors were issuing. It was also hard for them to learn every new feature that was being released by the vendor.
And moreover, they had a serious staffing issue—many of Check Point’s customers and their competitor’s customers would have hundreds and hundreds of firewalls in their environment, but only a handful of people who could actually work on those firewalls. The amount of work had grown exponentially, but the human ability had not. That created a huge gap that they wanted help resolving.
In those conversations, I thought about what could be solved through automation. We could build the software that would take care of certain things that humans need to do but don’t have the time or the bandwidth to do it. And that’s what spurred the birth of Indeni.
SD: What does your company do with automation?
YL: If you think about a large enterprise that has hundreds of firewalls and other security devices, they have a team of people who are in a network operations center. These people are responsible for watching the environment 24/7, usually the follow-the-sun model. And if there’s an issue, they need to resolve it before anybody feels that issue.
For example, one of our customers is one of the largest credit card companies in the world, and they have a big network full of firewalls that is responsible for handling credit card transactions. When you go to the supermarket or you buy something online and use your credit card, that transaction goes through their network. And if there’s an issue in that network, then you can’t use your credit card and you’re frustrated. And they lose a lot of money.
They built Network Operations Centers (NOC) around the world in multiple locations, which are staffed with individuals who are responsible to make sure that everything is working smoothly. Our software connects to their security devices and specifically their firewalls, and it inspects the configurations and the performance of those firewalls 24/7. If it finds any issue, like a misconfiguration, a human error, a potential performance issue in those devices, it flags it and sends it to operators in those NOCs and tells them about the problem.
When we tell them about the problem, we also tell them why it’s happening and what they need to do to fix it. So essentially, we’re not only saving them time by looking for problems that they don’t have time to look for, but we’re also saving them time with trying to determine the source of the problem, the root cause, and how to solve that problem. So, we’re reducing the amount of effort required in maintaining those firewalls by a very, very considerable factor. And that allows an organization such as that credit card issuer to stay up and running and make sure that they have a complete view of what’s going on.
SD: What industries use your technology?
YL: We generally target large companies that usually have at least 1,000 employees. Our verticals are either in finance, healthcare, insurance, and government. We have a lot of customers elsewhere as well; for example, one of the largest airlines in the world.
SD: What do you feel are the worst cyberthreats out there today?
YL: Enterprises are in a race to do digital transformation. Essentially, they’re trying to roll out new applications and new services as fast as they can. So instead of going into a bank branch, you’re now using the bank app on your phone. There is much competitive pressure on these companies that are trying to roll out new applications and new services as fast as they can, and when you’re trying to roll out something really, really quickly, you tend to cut corners, which creates security holes and vulnerabilities. Oftentimes, at a later date, the new application gets hacked because of those shortcuts that were made early on.
SD: What are the new threats due to COVID 19?
The new work-from-home paradigm is concerning. Companies’ old paradigm for employees has been to secure the office network. Now that has changed because everybody is working from home, so instead of securing the office network, you need to secure their laptops, endpoints, and access to SaaS, and that’s much harder to do. As we’ve seen with the Twitter hack from a couple of weeks ago, if you’re not securing the access of your employees, and if you’re not making sure that they know who they should respond to and who they shouldn’t, you may find that your most trusted employees are inadvertently providing credentials to hackers, who are then using it to access your systems.
SD: We heard you’re working on something new at Indeni, can you share some details?
Over the past year, our customers have shared with us their next challenge: securing cloud environments. More specifically, making sure their production cloud environments are always secure and that violations never even make it into their production environments.
To achieve that, customers are looking for a technology that can review their infrastructure-as-code files and find mistakes lurking inside. We’re leveraging our experience from our core product to build a solution to this exact problem, and we’re calling it Cloudrail. More details to be released soon.