CipherCloud: Expansion into Europe, Investment, and The Cost of a Data Breach

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The week that CipherCloud announced it had received $30 million in new funding from Andreessen Horowitz, a leading venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, I sat down to lunch with their CEO, Pravin Kothari, Richard Olver, Regional Director of EMEA, and Dev Ghoshal, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Global Alliances, & Customer Success.

The company plans to use the investment to further develop its cloud information protection offerings and to advance its technology leadership. The expansion plans don’t end there, as the company has just opened its European headquarters in London, with plans for rapid expansion both in the UK and across EMEA. “We are expecting growth in Europe to reach 20% of our annual turnover in 2013”, said Kothari.

Richard Olver, leading the effort in the UK, argued that “most cloud providers are actually very secure; more secure than their clients”, and believes that the key to success in the UK market is “all about awareness”.

We recently reported on research - commissioned by CipherCloud – which revealed that 70% of respondents were unable to estimate the cost of a security breach. “Our research reveals some interesting insights into the minds of senior business professionals, with a lack of understanding of the true cost of the breach of their sensitive information”, said Olver.

During our lunch we discussed the cloud security landscape, the struggle between security and the business, and the importance of having ‘cloud’ on your CV. Below are what I believe to be the most interesting snippets to come out of the conversation:

  • “Often the business wants to adopt the cloud – but IT is not involved in these decisions. Decisions are made in business operations, outside the jurisdiction of IT.”
  • “When it comes to cloud technology, security professionals are brought in at a later stage to put security into play”
  • “Businesses are being driven to adopt cloud computing”
  • “Risk is quantifiable in terms of intellectual property”
  • “The hammer is always compliance”
  • “Organisations should encrypt the data BEFORE it is sent to the cloud. That way, if hacked, all data is gibberish anyway.”
  • “We believe the EU is the frontier for cloud adoption. The EU is also more complex legally and has more barriers to adoption”
  • “There is a digital initiative to move 50% of all IT to the cloud by 2015. Is this impossible? If so, reducing costs will be very important”.
  • “If you’re a CISO and ‘cloud’ is not on your CV, you may not get your next job.”
  • “Cloud is growing five times faster than traditional software”.
  • “The best cloud and security decisions are made when IT, the CISO, and business representatives are all in the same room.”
  • “The ICO guidelines are actually very good and well-written”
  • “We need to turn security into the ability to say yes”.

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