Amit Yoran Leaving RSA Security to Become Tenable CEO

After a decade working at NetWitness and RSA Security, Amit Yoran is making a big move by becoming CEO of Tenable Network Security.

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Tenable Network Security announced on December 15 that it has found its new leader, revealing that Amit Yoran will become the company's CEO effective January 3, 2017. Yoran is a well known figure in the information security industry, having worked as the President of RSA Security and as the founding director of the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) program in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Yoran will fill a role at Tenable that had previously been held by Ron Gula, who is one of the founders of the company. Gula and Yoran have known each other for over a decade, and it was Gula who contacted Yoran about the potential opportunity to leave RSA Security and join Tenable. Yoran joined RSA in 2011, after his company NetWitness was acquired. RSA Security is part of EMC, which was recently merged with Dell, though Yoran emphasized that the Dell EMC merger was not a driving factor in his decision to leave the company.

"Across my time at NetWitness and RSA, I have been there for a total of 10 years," Yoran told eWEEK. "So it's less a matter about leaving RSA as much as it is about being really excited about the opportunity in front of Tenable."

Yoran noted that he discussed his departure with Michael Dell and David Goulden, President of Dell EMC. He added that RSA Security has already identified a new leader to help assure a smooth transition.

Tenable raised $230 million in an October 2015 funding round to help accelerate the company's growth. Yoran said that overall Tenable has a strong leadership team and that is reflected in the company's success in recent years. At this point, Yoran has not determined all of the specific metrics that he will use to help measure his progress at Tenable.

"Tenable already has a sizeable customer base and enjoys a leadership position in the threat vulnerability management space," Yoran said. "What I'm most excited about is the opportunity to accelerate that leadership both from a business metrics and technology standpoint."

Security in 2017

As Yoran looks to 2017, he sees a number of things that will be required to be successful in the security business in the coming year. He commented that as he was driving to work today, he listened to news about the alleged hacking of the U.S election by Russia and the news that one billion Yahoo accounts were breached.

"Organizations have lost visibility and are not able to accurately characterize their level of risk exposure," Yoran said. "Technology risk is business risk today."

Among the many things that Yoran was tasked with as President of RSA Security was delivering a keynote at the annual RSA Security conference. At the 2015 RSA Conference, Yoran told attendees that the security business has failed and in 2016 he followed-up by saying its time for security vendors to wake-up.

"Two years ago when I said the security industry has failed that was a major headline," Yoran said. "Today that idea is commonly accepted and now people are more open minded to change."

In his view, recognizing that past approaches to security have failed, there is now an opportunity for the industry to come up with solutions and approaches that do work.

"New market segments are opening up and existing players are evolving," Yoran said. "That's where there is a unique opportunity for Tenable to really understand their level of risk and exposure."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.