Having spent the last few years talking to hundreds of customers about container and cloud security, it is evident that the cloud-native application space has truly taken off and will likely be the primary way apps are delivered in the near future.
Having been part of teams that built successful products used by thousands of customers at Cisco and Palo Alto Networks, the next logical challenge for me was to pursue that work from the ground up in a startup. A startup opportunity also was appealing because of the accelerated pace at which products are conceptualized, built, and brought to market. Having worked in companies that were industry leaders in their space, it was important that the next company I worked for could likewise be a leader or help define a new space altogether.
Organizations are built around people and, given the long hours we spend with colleagues, a great team is imperative. In startups particularly, the caliber of the founders plays a big role because the initial idea, understanding of the product market fit, and ability to execute and course correct, can make or break companies.
Meeting these criteria and the passion for continuing my cloud-native security journey led me to Traceable!
Let me elaborate on how Traceable met the three important criteria.
1. Technology Fit
Web applications and APIs are becoming the de facto method of delivering software. There has been a rapid move towards cloud-native applications because they are an efficient way to speed up building applications, optimizing existing ones, and connecting them effectively. It has led to enterprises developing and updating apps quickly, while improving quality and reducing downtime. The risk, compliance, and security for cloud-native applications is paramount and needs a radically different approach because business logic is unique to each enterprise so threat prevention needs to be unique as well.
Traceable’s solution leverages unsupervised machine learning to discern what normal behavior looks like over time. It can automatically identify abnormal activity, such as malicious users attempting to access sensitive data via an API, and protect application threats in real time. In addition, the OpenTelemetry-based distributed tracing technique greatly increases the accuracy and depth of application threat prevention.
2. Product Market Fit
Going with Marc Andreessen’s classical definition of product market fit, the market is the most important factor in a startup’s success or failure. When a great team meets a great market, something special happens. Given that APIs are the primary means of communication for cloud-native applications (as described well by Red Hat), the market is ripe for security to be focused around APIs and sensitive data they access.
Traceable competes in a huge market solving a big problem. As more and more applications transition to cloud-native apps, we see new types of data breaches ranging from mass scraping of API transactions to API endpoints being made publicly accessible because of their limited authentication, authorization, and encryption.
3. People and Cultural Fit
Throughout my interview process at Traceable, I thoroughly enjoyed conversations with the founders and the team. Jyoti and Sanjay have a clear vision and strong conviction of API security being ripe for innovation, and the unique approach the product uses will solve real-world security challenges and transform this space entirely. The track record of the founders from AppDynamics to Harness to Traceable, clearly indicates that a lot of thought goes into selecting the customer challenges to focus on and a unique approach in building products to solve them elegantly. Humility, mutual respect, and being open to new ideas regardless of where they come fromt are important aspects of the company culture that I value.
Five weeks into making the decision to join Traceable, I am thoroughly enjoying working with the team, and the interesting problems we are tackling are intellectually stimulating. The customer feedback, product focus, and strong backing from industry stalwarts have further reinforced the three criteria I had started my search with. I am excited about the journey ahead and look forward to enjoying the ride with the team. Go Traceable!
About the Author
Sudeep Padiyar is a Product Management leader at Traceable and a soon-to-be regular contributor to The Inside Trace.
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