A brief talk with Shay Zandani, founder and CEO of Cytegic

The cybersecurity risk management solution just raised a $3 million angel funding round

Entrepreneur interview by Steven Loeb
October 22, 2015
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On Wednesday, Cytegic, an Israel-based provider of cybersecurity risk management solutions, announced it had completed its second round of angel funding, securing an additional $3 million from a prominent set of angel investors, including Paul Jenkel, Stuart A. Bernstein and  Kenneth L. Stein.

The round brought the company's total funding to $6 million.

I spoke to Shay Zandani, co-founder and CEO of Cytegic about his company, the problem it is trying to solve and what allows it to standout in an increasingly popular space.

VatorNews: What is the problem that Cytegic is trying to solve?

Shay Zandani: That an enterprise’s defense against evolving cyberthreats requires continuous and dynamic assessment, with proactive approach to implement the relevant defenses before the breach happens.  Companies have the security tools and intelligence but no solution to measure how effectively they’re applying those security tools and their investment against the threats.

VN: How does it solve that problem?

SZ: By correlating between cyber intelligence and your organization’s current security maturity.  We ingest it all and make it useable for executive and board oversight.  We correlate intelligence in semi real-time to point out the weakest links in the chain.  This helps the organization focus on what needs attention. The intelligence comes from thousands of public sources.  We compare the patterns and trends of the threat data to the organization’s internal cybersecurity maturity posture to inform better decision-making on where to expend resources to protect against specific threats to a specific business, based on specific events happening in the next couple of months, by industry and geo-political situation. 

VN: Who is the typical customer for Cytegic?

SZ: Leading financial institutions and other regulated and mature sectors in need of our platform include critical infrastructure companies where the risk extends beyond financial loss to the potential loss of life.

VN: How and why do they use it?

SZ: CISOs can show CEOs and board members a dashboard view to quickly determine the organization’s overall security posture.  From there they can understand where to strategically apply investments to reduce the risk of a breach.

VN: How many customers do you currently have?

SZ: Large banks are among those using our platform as a proof of concept and we expect to kick-off Q1 2016 with high-profile customer deals in the U.S.. 

VN: Why is what Cytegic does valuable to its customers?  

SZ: Cytegic’s platform integrates the IT security function into business operations and creates the common ground needed for CISOs and their executive teams and boards to align on how cyber risk plays into business decisions. 

VN: Have you calculated any ROI?

SZ: Calculating an ROI for security solutions is like calculating an ROI for life insurance. That said, we believe we could demonstrate with customer examples the value of investing in the right places based on a business asset impact analysis, or  risk-based approach.

VN: What will you do with the money you've now raised? Will it go toward hiring? Product development?

SZ: The funding will be shared between development efforts to align the products to US customer needs, and at the same time to capitalize on the US market traction we are getting.

VN: What does the addition of Josh Morris as VP of North American Sales mean for the company? 

SZ: He’s instrumental to our goal of passing the strategic double-digit million sales number and doubling or tripling the number of Cytegic employees, which is around 20 today.  Why is he the right person to be your vice president of Sales in North America? Josh has outstanding sales and strategic partnering vision and experience from his years with BAE and Symantec to lead and execute on our accelerated go to market strategy.

VN: What separates Cytegic from other similar companies? What do you do that they can’t or won’t?

SZ: There are so many vendors of Cybersecurity controls, like - firewalls, DLP, NAC, SIEM and other end point solutions… and so much intelligence vendors, but no one correlates it and elevates it to the level where CISO, CEOs and boards can communicate in the same language.  

VN: What is the philosophy behind Cytegic?

SZ: We're here to disrupt the market and to create a better and safer world for all of us.

VN: How would you like to disrupt the space in the next five or ten years?

SZ: Helping organizations to get informed decisions, and allocating their resources to their weaknesses overtime, could save them a lot of money and effort in dealing with dynamic business needs.

VN: Is there anything else I should know about Cytegic? 

SZ: Cytegic will get some major deals in the next couple of months in the US and EU.  To accelerate our growth, we’ll establish a relationship with a strategic partner as well as get an institutional round in the double digits. Cytegic is the only cyber company that has a complete female development team, including a VP R&D, as far as we know. 

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Description: Cytegic develops a full suite of cyber management and decision-support products that enable cybersecurity professionals to monitor, measu...