Government agencies are under more pressure than ever to do more with less — smaller budgets, fewer resources. Yet, the increasing speed, frequency and sophistication of today’s cyber threats pose a significant challenge to the federal, state and local governments charged with protecting sensitive public data and critical infrastructure. As we’ve witnessed with the latest IRS and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) breaches, the public sector’s lack of visibility and control across their networks can allow intrusions to go unnoticed for months or years, to devastating results.
To better serve the public sector, Tanium announced this week that the company’s global expansion will include a new office in the Washington, DC area.
Tanium is currently working with federal government agencies, including the Department of Defense (DOD), to monitor and control half a million endpoints. The excitement we’ve seen from government customers for Tanium’s transformative endpoint platform demonstrates that the federal space is eager to improve the speed and scale at which they can respond to cyberattacks and realize new levels of IT operations efficiency.
Tanium executives, including David Damato, the company’s newly named, first-ever Chief Security Officer, celebrated the DC launch on Tuesday with representatives from across the public sector, including DOD, FBI, DOT, DHS and many others. As a part of the event, Tanium executives, along with Andressen Horowitz board partner Steven Sinofsky, shared their perspectives on Tanium’s recent momentum, the top cybersecurity challenges faced by the federal government, and Tanium’s vision for helping agencies address cyber threats.
What factors have contributed to Tanium’s success over the last 18 months?
Mike Carpenter, president: We are coming off of an incredible year at Tanium. We grew more than 400% year over year in both billings and employees. We work with the world’s largest organizations: 5 of the top 10 banks, 4 of the top 10 retailers and the number one company in 11 different industries. We’ve built a business that handles scale. Continuous Diagnostics & Mitigation (CDM) requires IT teams to scan for vulnerabilities every 72 hours. In 72 hours, 4 million records could be gone. You need to have data in seconds. For the first time ever, we enable 15 second visibility and control over endpoints, even across the world’s largest networks, to stay head of attacks and perform IT tasks that before took days or weeks. This is what is driving the explosive adoption of Tanium across both private and public sector.
What is the No. 1 cybersecurity challenge for the federal government? Ralph Kahn, president, Tanium Federal: The public sector has the same problems as the private sector, except on an unprecedented scale. Tanium’s platform changes the speed at which agencies can respond to threats. Tanium can cut the detection window in an attack from a week to three hours, not to mention reduce tools, management and infrastructure costs for IT operations teams. Agencies, such as the DOD, choosing to make an investment in Tanium is a testament to the platform.
Why did you choose to join Tanium? Dave Damato, Chief Security Officer: For almost six years, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with the Fortune 500 to investigate their most serious breaches. Despite an explosion in security companies and significant investments by organizations into security products, the number of serious breaches continues to increase. The OPM breach is an interesting example. There’s a similar tune to why these breaches occur. Organizations of all kinds are struggling with a number of tasks, including asset management, patch management, and the ability to monitor endpoints in real time. It will take a shift in focusing on fundamentals and having better visibility across environments. I joined the company because Tanium addresses these challenges. Tanium for the endpoints is like the experience of uploading a new browser — there are a ton of new capabilities that weren’t possible before that Tanium can discover.
How can government agencies modify their approach to cybersecurity? Ryan Kazanciyan, Chief Security Architect: When it comes to incident detection and investigation, it can take many weeks to scope an incident using existing tools. It can be painful to watch organizations go through that process and then ultimately fail in remediation. Government agencies are constantly on the defense, yet the attacks continue to increase in speed, scale and frequency. It’s hard to play whack-a-mole with an attacker. A modern approach to cybersecurity requires that we shift this paradigm and go on the offensive, with real-time access to data that will thwart attacks.
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