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To Identity & Beyond - Why I am Joining Oort

Last week our Founder & CEO, Matt Caulfied, wrote a great piece on why he started Oort and what he hopes to achieve.  When I first talked to Matt, I had a lot of the same questions about the company; what drove him to start Oort, what does Oort mean, who is shaping the product vision, how are customers and the market responding, and, most importantly, how do you pronounce it? The list went on and on.

Matt’s vision and plan were ambitious, but simple.

Identity is the new perimeter - and nobody is taking the right approach to secure it

The industry knows that people, and their digital identities, are at the center of the vast majority of successful cyber attacks. According to the 2022 Verizon DBIR, more than 80% of hacking-related breaches used stolen passwords and/or weak passwords.A When COVID hit and the world moved from the office to the living room, identity security climbed right to the top of the priority list for every organization trying to harness this amorphous swirling mass of identities circling their organization. (cough cough - the Oort cloud)

While IAM tools help tremendously in wrangling those identities, humans are imperfect beings and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day for security teams to monitor every identity across hundreds of systems 24/7. Simply put, there was no way to have 24/7 visibility across your SSO, IAM, HR, SaaS, etc. to identify when identities spiral off course and leave a backdoor open for attackers to sneak in.

Enter Oort Identity Security

Matt teamed up with the best of the best identity security practitioners and product managers to build a tool that could provide this overlay visibility and response. Didi Dotan ran identity at Cisco and felt the pain of not having an Oort-like tool. Now he is shaping the solution exactly how a practitioner would want it to look. And, if you know Didi, he isn’t shy about making sure it isn’t BS and works the way a customer needs it to.

Layer in product management expertise from Nicolas Dard, sales leadership from Peter Martin, an amazing team in every function, great investors, and happy customers - I was hooked. 

I spoke with Oort customers and they described life with Oort almost with a sigh of relief. That they knew there were probably some gaps, but they had no idea how large they were and how frequently they occurred. Now Oort is at the top of their priority list each day in ensuring identities are locked down.

Why join now?

I have helped to build two previous cybersecurity companies through acquisition. At the time they were solving some of the biggest challenges security teams were facing. First it was network detection and response in the early 2000’s with Sourcefire (acquired by Cisco for $2.7b). Next it was external detection and response from 2015 to now with Digital Shadows (acquired by ReliaQquest for $160m). I truly believe the next wave of focus for all organizations is going to be around understanding and protecting their identity threats.

One of the unique things I love about Oort is how simple it is to use, how quickly organizations get value from it, and how insistent the team has been to build in automation and response capabilities from the start for security teams who are already overworked and suffering from alert fatigue.

Oort is primed for meteoric rise (pun intended) and I couldn't be more happy to be along for the ride. Marketing a killer product that I believe deeply will help secure organizations and ultimately human beings is what excites me about this opportunity, and Matt has built a killer team of pretty cool people to get that done.

If you’d like to connect with me on LinkedIn, please do. I would love to join the conversation and hear how security teams are struggling with this problem and what Oort can do to help.

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