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Mind the Tech NY2021

“We think Israel is the best place to invest in cybersecurity”

Said John Brennan, a partner at YL Ventures, during a panel on cybersecurity alongside Orca Security CEO Avi Shua and Google Cloud CISO Phil Venables

CTech 13:0921.11.21

With cybersecurity concerns and market both growing, the discussion around the industry in general and the Israeli ecosystem, in particular, has heated up and generated competing points of view.


In a panel at last week’s Mind the Tech NY 2021 conference, the moderator and founder of Cytactic Dr. Nimrod Kozlovski, presented panelists with recent remarks from Palo Alto founder Nir Zuk.


“Nir Zuk of Palo Alto is known for his provocative statements, he is saying that growing more security companies is now a threat to the industry rather than a promise of security,” Kozlovski paraphrased. “He is saying that security should be built on one, or a few companies working with each other and solving the problem.“


Avi Shua, co-founder and CEO of Orca Security replied by saying “I see why it is self-serving to Palo Alto to say that ‘you need to buy everything from us’ but the reality is, that you can usually get a dramatically better level of security and even integration by working with more innovative companies that do have open API do integrate with one another. And I believe Palo Alto would be better putting the money into integrating the acquisitions it made, and not sending lawyers trying to sue other people.”


John Brennan, a partner at YL Ventures, took the conversation elsewhere by focusing on the Israeli market, sharing that “We looked at 136 opportunities last year and we made two investments,” he said. “So we are not saying to index this market in terms of cybersecurity, even cybersecurity out of Israel, but what remains true is every time I talk to a customer, there are still many problems to be solved, and our view is that those problems will be solved by startups, and we think Israel is the best place to invest in cybersecurity. Our goal is to support founders with very big ambitions. Does every company need to be a $10, $20, $40 billion outcome, not necessarily, but we think there are a lot of large outcomes to come.”


When comparing cloud and premises security, Google Cloud CISO and VP Phil Venables said that: “The base level of security in cloud infrastructure is most definitely surpassing what is built in most cases on-premises. There will always be cases where a particular organization can construct an on-premise environment but that is not typical and that is not average across most enterprises. So certainly I think when you look at the default level, I can only speak to our infrastructure, pervasive encryption by default in storage and network, a secure software stack, hardware that we build ourselves, and secure boot, a whole range of technologies that are just not available typically at any reasonable economic cost.”


Watch the full discussion in the video above