It’s Only the Beginning

2.25.2016 | Orion Hindawi

“There are three existential threats that can put us out of business today,” a CEO recently told me. “Meteors, nuclear war and cybersecurity.”

From boardrooms to living rooms, each of us feels the impact of data breaches. At Tanium, we know firsthand that point solutions, anti-virus tools and strategies steeped in “hoping for the best” are failing to stop the daily barrage of cyberattacks directed at the most important organizations in the world. Yet, that is the best most incumbent security vendors seem to offer these days: variations on old, broken models.

The security world is experiencing a revolution from the inside, driven by companies like Tanium. Our customers are realizing that platforms that aggregate all those point solution capabilities into a single scalable framework, with 15-second visibility and control over their endpoints, allow them to attack security problems in a fundamentally better way.

When you set out to dispose of an old model and invent something completely new, it’s no surprise that those who remain invested in outdated approaches are quick to criticize — or at the very least ignore — you. While the incumbent vendors stew; however, over half of the Fortune 100 can testify how those Tanium capabilities have drastically improved their organizations’ security posture. Their support and trust make me prouder than any number on a balance sheet, but it translates into a real, sustainable business as well.

In the fiscal year that just ended, Tanium saw 200% growth year-over-year and ended our year debt-free, with $300M in cash. In the last quarter of FY2015 alone, we closed more business than we did in all of FY2014, while we remained cash-flow positive. The Tanium platform is now protecting over 12 million endpoints, in some of the largest networks in the world, and we’re aiming to more than double that number this year.

Meanwhile, we continued to evolve the platform, adding four new modules to solve some of the most difficult security and IT management challenges. We developed each module from the conversations our Technical Account Managers have with our customers in the field every day. The harder the problem, the more interesting for us to tackle.

It was a big year in other ways as well. In 2015 we:

  • Deployed at eight of the top 10 US banks, four of the Fortune 10 and four of the top 10 retailers.
  • Increased deals over $1 million by 170% and those over $5 million by 250%, year-over-year.
  • Added more than 80 new customers, while we had 100% renewal rate among existing customers.
  • Grew our staff by over 170% to more than 340 employees, welcoming team members from Wall Street, the FBI and leading cybersecurity companies, including FireEye/Mandiant’s Dave Damato as Chief Security Officer and Ryan Kazanciyan as Chief Security Architect; Intel’s Curt Aubley as Vice President of Strategic Alliances & Technology; Intuit’s Anirma Gupta as General Counsel; and Andreessen Horowitz’s Scott Rubin as Chief Communications Officer.
  • Expanded operations in Washington, D.C., London, Sydney, and Tokyo.

The time is ripe to take action. We’re excited about the possibility of making “15-second endpoint visibility and control” the expected standard. Our interconnected world presents a complicated dichotomy: with more innovation and discovery comes more vulnerability and business risk. Business and political leaders are duty-bound to customers and constituencies to ask themselves: “Are we doing as much as we can to make sure people are safe?”

As a final note, I want to share a structural change we’ve made. From the first day that David and I founded this company, we have shared decision-making equally. That arrangement has proven — and will continue — to be an excellent one for Tanium. Given our rapid global growth, we now recognize that we need to focus on building a world-class board, which requires that David spend more time on that aspect of leadership than he has in the past. That’s why, effective immediately, I will take on the role of CEO, while David becomes Executive Chairman. This shift is a realignment to allow us to stay nimble as we grow. Our titles change; what doesn’t change is our shared daily commitment to our employees and our customers.

This year was one small chapter in a long journey. We’re optimistic about the future because, despite the headlines, the problems that our customers face are not insurmountable. With 15-second visibility and control, proper hygiene and a single-pane-of-glass viewpoint, IT and Security teams have unprecedented capabilities to manage, control and protect every critical asset on their networks, letting the rest of their organization focus on the business of their business.

About the Author: Orion Hindawi co-founded Tanium in 2007 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Orion leads product strategy and development of the Tanium Platform, in addition to all customer-facing technical operations and management functions. A technology visionary and accomplished inventor, Orion has led the development of enterprise-scale endpoint security and management platforms for the past 18 years at BigFix, Inc. (acquired by IBM in 2010) and Tanium, in addition to holding multiple software patents in the areas of network communications and systems management. Orion works closely with Tanium customers on a daily basis in the pursuit of inventing new approaches for solving the significant challenges IT departments face securing and managing large, global enterprise environments. Orion also serves on the Tanium Board of Directors.