The secret CSO: Kris Lahiri, Egnyte

The secret CSO: Kris Lahiri, Egnyte

Name: Kris Lahiri

Organisation: Egnyte

Job title: Chief Security Officer and Co-Founder & VP Operations

Date started current role: 2007

Location: Mountain View, CA

Kris Lahiri is the Co-Founder & VP Operations and Chief Security Officer at Egnyte. He is responsible for creating and implementing Egnyte's global information security and compliance management strategies, policies and controls that protect all of Egnyte's customers' content and users. Prior to Egnyte, Lahiri spent many years in the design and deployment of large-scale infrastructures for Fortune 100 customers of Valdero and KPMG Consulting.

What was your first job? KPMG Consulting. Worked on large scale infrastructure since my first job.

How did you get involved in cybersecurity? Traditional technical operations was very closely tied to security. As the space evolved cybersecurity and its importance in the enterprise became something that I was personally very passionate about and was also involved in implementing different solutions.

What was your education? Do you hold any certifications? What are they? Masters of Science and Engineering. No current certifications

Explain your career path. Did you take any detours? If so, discuss. Always been in engineering. Starting from a consulting background, I have always been very sensitive to an end user/customer's needs. Worked on building large scale infrastructure at Fortune 100 clients. This was followed by working on similar problems but at a startup company. The need to solve large complex problems for companies has stayed consistent throughout my career.

Was there anyone who has inspired or mentored you in your career? The founding team at Egnyte has been together for more than 20 years across different companies and different roles. There is a lot of inspiration that I draw from each of them.

What do you feel is the most important aspect of your job? The responsibility of doing right by our customers. They are trusting us with their most important asset. Our responsibility in keeping it secure while making it easy for them to achieve their business goals is both an awesome challenge and fulfilling achievement when done right.

What metrics or KPIs do you use to measure security effectiveness? We monitor our KPIs based on how effectively they can measure the metric (specific and relevance) and what action can be taken for thresholds that are established. Some of these KPIs are Security ticket age, configuration compliance, MTTR (mean time to remediate), employee security training compliance.

Is the security skills shortage affecting your organisation? What roles or skills are you finding the most difficult to fill? Yes. Security engineers that have an overall sense of the business and not super focused on using tools like Metasploit or Burp Suite

Cybersecurity is constantly changing - how do you keep learning? Work with other partners that are focussed in cybersecurity. Continuously build a network of peers and collaborate with them and learn their perspective on how they are approaching similar issues.

What conferences are on your must-attend list? RSA, Appsec, Devcon

What is the best current trend in cybersecurity? The worst? Best trend is the rise in independent 3rd party security training that is being made available.

Worst trend is everyone paying lip service to ML/AI for cybersecurity solutions without deep domain info.

What's the best career advice you ever received? Take the time to do the hard thing the right way, no shortcuts.

What advice would you give to aspiring security leaders? Keep the end user front and centre. Otherwise they will find ways to bypass any cool new security you build.

What has been your greatest career achievement? Co-founding Egnyte and growing it to 15000 customers and millions of users and 600 employees worldwide.

Looking back with 20:20 hindsight, what would you have done differently? Been more involved with the security startup ecosystem in different capacities as investor or mentor or product architect.

What is your favourite quote?Just Do It.

What are you reading now? Seveneves by Neal Stephenson and Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker.

In my spare time, I like to… Watch Netflix.

Most people don't know that I… Am a huge movie buff.

Ask me to do anything but… Run a marathon.


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