Jim is a veteran of cybersecurity. He has founded four successful companies, held senior positions at both Juniper and Akamai technologies, and now serves as CEO of Lookout.
Lookout was founded in 2007 as an endpoint security service, but the acquisition of CipherCloud in March of 2021 marked the beginning of the company’s expansion into cloud security. Since then, Lookout has already facilitated huge advances within the cloud security sector.
“Cloud security revolves around companies moving data and workloads into the cloud, our focus is securing the private data centres that store said data. Traditionally, the three elements of cloud security – software as a service (SaaS), enterprise applications that have been moved into the cloud, and traditional web access – are secured by three separate applications: Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB), VPNs and zero trust technology, and secure web gateways respectively. Lookout and some other forward-thinking vendors have consolidated those applications into a single platform, defined by Gartner as a Security Service Edge (SSE),” Jim said.
While Lookout isn’t the only company that has recognised the value of SSEs, Jim firmly believes that not only is his platform superior, but the company’s approach to cloud security as a whole is unique.
“We are of the opinion that data is the most important thing in our business, and that our data-centric approach differentiates us from our competitors. We are unique in our conviction that security should be about data protection. A huge part of our business model lies in data loss protection (DLP) and encryption, and our primary focus is protecting key data in the cloud. This, combined with our common platform, sets us apart from any other vendor in the cloud security space,” he said.
Looking to the future, Jim sees cloud security as the emerging trend in cybersecurity. He argues that COVID-19 and the shift to remote working accelerated the move to the cloud by as much as five years, with the security industry still playing catch up.
“When the world first went into lockdown, IT professionals scrambled to move as much data as possible onto the cloud as fast as they could – this was necessary for business continuity as employees were forced to work from home. It’s important to remember that the work from home revolution was supported almost entirely by the cloud. Now that the dust has settled, we believe it’s essential that we shift our focus back to security.”
Jim also believes that the impacts of regulations such as GDPR will only continue to grow in significance as organisations settle into their use of the cloud.
“Let me give you an example of how important cloud security is now. Some of our customers are hospitals, and during the pandemic they had to move patient health records into the cloud. While this is great for accessibility, organisation and cost effectiveness, the move into the cloud exposed vast quantities of sensitive patient data – we cannot go any longer without addressing these issues, and that’s where Lookout comes in,” he said.
Aside from cloud security, Jim says that identity management is a key facet of Lookout’s future. Just this month Lookout acquired SaferPass, a password management company, with the intent of providing both endpoint and cloud security, alongside identity management as a holistic package, particularly to midsize businesses.