Security unicorn Illumio’s latest hire — former Obama administration executive Jonathan Reiber — literally wrote the book on cyberstrategy at the U.S. Department of Defense.
Reiber (pictured) is Illumio’s new head of cybersecurity strategy. He was most recently senior advisor at Technology for Global Security, a nonprofit cybersecurity think tank, and formerly senior fellow at the University of California-Berkeley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity. Prior to that, he held several positions within the U.S. Department of Defense over his seven-year tenure with the Obama administration.
In his last position, chief strategy officer for cyberpolicy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, he was principal author of “The Department of Defense Cyber Strategy.” He was also executive secretary of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Cyber Deterrence.
At Illumio, he’ll lead the company’s policy and research efforts. “I’m going to help customers and the public to look around corners for cybersecurity risk and vulnerability to help meet the challenges we are going to face collectively,” he said in an interview with SDxCentral. “I really think we’re at a key moment in our digital and cybersecurity story.”
Security officials used to think that cyberattacks on critical infrastructure posed the most pressing threat. And then Russian hackers interfered in the U.S. 2016 presidential election. “That was a surprise for a lot of it in its clear intent and digital access,” he said. It also signaled that attacks are “going to continue to expand and to grow more severe and nuanced,” he added.
This is part of the reason why Reiber returned to the private sector, and, more specifically, to Illumio. “The private sector is really at the forefront of building the capabilities we need for international security and cybersecurity,” he said. “Illumio is building for a resilient future. Microsegmention is fundamentally a foundational approach.”
How Microsegmentation Works
Breaches are inevitable, Reiber continued. The company’s security platform addresses this through microsegmentation, which enables fine-grained security policies to be assigned to cloud and data center applications.
The approach improves network security by integrating it directly into a virtualized workload without requiring a hardware-based firewall. It reduces a company’s attack surface by essentially sealing off workloads from the rest of the network, thus preventing hackers from gaining access to the wider system.
“It means attackers can’t move laterally though a cloud or data center environment,” Reiber said.
Two months ago CNBC named Illumio to its Disruptor 50 list, at No. 44.
Big Growth Year
It’s been quite a growth year for the company.
In March, Illumio announced it achieved 300 percent year-over-year bookings growth for the second consecutive year. It also opened its first Asia-Pacific office in Sydney, Australia, and increased its employee headcount by over 60 percent in 2017 to support customer growth in North America, Europe, and Asia. Some of these customers include Citi, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, Salesforce, BNP Paribas, Workday, Oak Hill Advisors, QuickenLoans, Oracle, and Plantronics.
Also this year the company added global vulnerability mapping capabilities to its Adaptive Security Platform through an integration with Qualys Cloud Platform. The integration combines Qualy’s vulnerability and threat data with Illumio’s application dependency mapping to show potential attack paths in real time. It can also be used to generate microsegmentation policies that reduce East-West exposure and to prioritize patching.
And earlier this month it won “Best Network Security Solution of 2018” from the annual peer-reviewed SIIA CODiE Awards.
“You need to plan for breach and build resilience, and that’s what attracted me to Illumio,” Reiber said. “You need to assume all the defenses in the world to keep somebody out of your system may fail. Illumio’s microsegmenation strategy stops intruders from moving laterally. If you are serious about planning for resilience, you have to get to a place like this.”