Welcome to a special video interview with Deb Wolf, the new CMO at security platform vendor Lookout.
The interview started out with Wolf explaining her path to “boomerang” status at Lookout, where she worked from 2015 to 2018. Her deep background in marketing, category design, and category scale includes stints at Mercury Interactive, PeopleSoft/Oracle, Workday, and Integrate. At Lookout, she said she’ll bring a focus on outcomes that customers can achieve with Lookout’s technology.
Wolf met with Acceleration Economy co-founder John Siefert as well as Acceleration Economy analyst and Cloud Wars Horizon host Tom Smith. She addressed topics including the job at Lookout, security as a business enabler, securing the increasingly prevalent multi-cloud and hybrid cloud models, and vertical industry approaches to security.
03:40 — Lookout was a very B2C-focused security company that built its reputation in the consumer world and made the decision to pivot to the enterprise, as so many of us are doing so much corporate work on smartphones. So much has changed not just in the product portfolio but also in the focus shifting from mobile to cloud security.
04:55 — Covid accelerated — through the roof — the moves that had started to occur in digital transformation. Workers now want the freedom to work from anywhere, with their personal and professional lives blended together now more than ever. That’s forcing completely new IT infrastructure requirements and security posture. We’re not putting this genie back in the bottle. Life has changed and we really need to think forward.
06:45 — The big focus in the 90s and 2000s was to just lock down information. At Lookout, the company thinks about it as freedom of control: you must have control over your data. It no longer sits behind a firewall; it’s in the wild. As security leaders and CIOs think about this, they have to meet workforce demand for agility and flexibility. So, it has to be a business enabler.
07:42 — We think about it as giving greater control while at rest, in motion across the cloud and applications, and enabling employees, customers, and partners to get what they need to remain productive. We’re in the business of putting safeguards in place to protect data but in a way that allows people to work wherever they need to work.
08:43 — The days of viewing cybersecurity tools and solutions as a cost center are really gone.
Modern organizations recognize the need to embrace these solutions as key enablers for their business.
10:30 — The acceleration of digital transformation is an enormous competitive advantage and there are a lot of benefits. However, it also creates a new threat surface. The technology used for remote and hybrid work environments is one of those vulnerable areas. IT organizations are still trying to figure that out as they look at multi-cloud environments.
11:40 — Most data breaches come down to human error. Gartner had a figure that 99% of cloud security failures will be caused by people. It’s not hard to leave the door open for a malicious actor to come in. That has really led to Gartner’s new tech and a category called Security Service Edge (SSE). It’s about designing a new posture for remote and hybrid workers accessing data through the cloud. The Lookout platform allows customers to access corporate apps and the data stored in these apps, whether on-prem or in a cloud service.
14:27 — We all have to be thinking vertically. What you might need in healthcare where you have GDPR, HIPAA, and personal health requirements around patient data is very different than the construction industry, where a company may be sharing plans and collaborating with partners. They have very different needs but both can be very cloud applicable and very different in the way that they need to share data. Obviously, their posture will also be very different. You absolutely have to go market in a vertical way.
Want more cybersecurity insights? Subscribe to the Cybersecurity as a Business Enabler channel: