Lastline CEO On Standing Out In A Crowded Cybersecurity Space

What Lastline does that’s really different is we’ve truly leveraged artificial intelligence to not only try to answer the latest threat, but to also anticipate it. To use artificial intelligence to predict exactly how the next threat will present, almost like the way an illness presents. We’re ahead of the curve. And that’s why we’ve recently submitted to a lot of testing, and we’re sure that we have kept 100% capture and detection rate on intrusions, and so it is different. But it’s only through having a really unique type of a solution, using unique capabilities, that I think you can lift yourself out of the hundreds of companies that are out there today providing some level of solution.

You guys are in Redwood City. You’re in the kind of heart of Silicon Valley. What about recruiting tech talent? How much of a challenge does that present?  

It certainly would be hard if we were hiring most of our technical talent here in the Bay Area because as you know, it’s a very tight market. I think if you talk to a lot of the startups that are struggling today in the Bay Area, that’s probably why they’re struggling. What we’ve done is we’ve really relied very heavily on our founders and their university connections. And we have nine PhDs on staff, for instance. If you think about for a company our size that has that many PhDs, it’s pretty astonishing. And all of our development facilities are located nearby to university presences that we have established through our network. And so whether it’s in the UK, or whether it’s in the Boston area, or whether it’s here, we don’t actually have a lot of our engineering talent in Redwood City. We have it down in Santa Barbara, at the University of Santa Barbara. So we’re pulling our talent out of the university. And that’s giving us people with super-fresh experience in emerging computing environments.

It’s also giving us access to the students largely that are in advanced degree programs trending towards PhDs. Real thought leaders. The people that are writing their doctoral theses occasionally in that area. And so, if you go online, you’ll see that our founders, and a lot of the professors, and academics associated with the company have published more than 250 papers. These are core, foundational papers that talk about intrusion, breach defense, different types of malicious threats, malware. And so this is an incredible foundation for us. So we don’t feel constrained by talent. In fact, I think we have some of the most brilliant people on earth.

What are the conversations you’re having with CEOs about cybersecurity? Is there a level of understanding from their level?

I think there’s a level of fear. Every CEO, from myself to anyone that I talk with on a day-to-day basis, is very worried about enterprise risk management. And enterprise risk management, I would say nowadays also includes data privacy, data residency, of course, all the financial components around the theft of the assets of the company. The losses every year now are in the billions. I don’t think there is a single CEO in the world today that isn’t at some level worried about the impact of electronic threats. And those electronic threats present in a lot of different ways. It’s not necessarily breaking into your systems. Someone could be manipulating other systems that you use in the electronic commerce environment that can disturb or interrupt your business in some way.

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