100% SIGNAL PODCAST

There are great stories in the security industry that aren’t being told. Fascinating people who fly below the radar and aren’t being heard. We know because we encounter them in hallways, hotel lobbies and just about everywhere imaginable across the globe. Everytime we think “I wish I had recorded that conversation so that everyone could hear it…” Our goal with Security Voices is to provide a place for clear-headed dialogue with great people that’s unencumbered by the hyperbole and shouting that’s far too common in security circles. We don’t have anything against sponsors or sales pitches, but they run counter to our goal of cutting through the noise,  so we don’t have either. We’re aiming for 100% clear signal. 

Got feedback? Drop us an email: info@securityvoices.org

bio-mulchandani1_edited.jpg

It all changed one day while Nand was sitting in traffic on the 101 freeway. Why am I doing this? Nand had experienced no less than 4 successful exits of cyber security companies where he was founder or CEO. He was one of the most accomplished cyber security entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley and his origins trace back to writing compilers for Sun Microsystems. At that moment, Nand decided to leave corporate life and set course to start a new phase of his career in the government.

 

His first step was to uproot his family and move them into graduate housing at Stanford where he would finally do that MBA degree he had considered long ago. Throughout Nand’s hour long interview with Jack and Dave, Nand explains how his family embraces the abrupt change from predictable Valley life and comforts to community living inside a small apartment on campus. 

 

Nand’s next step towards Washington D.C. is a one year stint across the country to the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government where he aimed to learn “the art of politics”. His time spent amongst princes and fledgling politicians taught Nand important lessons in complexity, the power of good Queen ballad during karaoke and the occasional necessity of a Scorpion Bowl to wash it all down.

 

After considering a run for Congress, Nand completes his plan to restart his career in government when by a series of unusual events (and a bit of start-up hustle) he becomes the CTO of the Department of Defense’s efforts in Artificial Intelligence. From his new vantage point, he shares what tech companies look like from the Washington D.C. perspective and answers heady questions such as “Who’s more trustworthy? A politician or a venture capitalist?” and we find out whether it’s easier to be in a government or a Valley boardroom.

About Nand

Nand Mulchandani is the Chief Technology Officer of the JAIC (Joint Artificial Intelligence Center) at the United States Department of Defense. Nand brings 25+ years of experience in the technology industry as a serial entrepreneur and senior executive in the enterprise infrastructure and security software industries to his service in the government to help transform the DoD in adopting next-generation AI and software technologies. 

 

Most recently, Nand was at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, and remains a non-resident Fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Prior to that, Nand was the Vice President of Market Development and Strategy for Citrix, a leading provider of desktop virtualization and networking infrastructure. Nand joined Citrix through its acquisition of ScaleXtreme, where Nand was the CEO and Co-Founder, that was funded by Accel and Ignition Partners.

 

Prior to ScaleXtreme, Nand was the CEO, Co-Founder, and senior executive of a number of technology startups and companies – as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence with venture capital firm Accel Partners, CEO of OpenDNS (funded by Sequoia Capital and Greylock, acquired by Cisco), as the founder and head of Security Products and Marketing at VMware, Co-Founder and CEO of Determina (funded by Bessemer Venture Partners, Mayfield and USVP, acquired by VMware), and Co-Founder of Oblix (funded by Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, acquired by Oracle). Nand started his career at Sun Microsystems as a compiler architect and holds a patent on dynamic code generation.

 

Nand has a BA with a degree in Computer Science & Mathematics from Cornell University, a Master in Science in Management from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

CTO, Department Of Defense's Joint AI Center

20/ NAND MULCHANDANI

Niloofar Razi Howe_edited.jpg

There are stories, and then there are “epics”: tales of a journey so full of unexpected twists and excitement that you’re left wondering how all that could happen to a single person. Niloo Razi Howe’s life is such an epic. Whereas most epics feature men with swords, this one focuses on a woman with heels and a hockey stick.

 

Part 1

While Niloo’s story as an Iranian exile is well-documented, our primary focus is on her career which began as an author and quickly moved to becoming a McKinsey consultant and then attorney… until she founded one of the few modestly successful online pet supply businesses in the 90s. 

 

Moved by 9-11, Niloo found the cyber security market and made it her sole focus as an investor at Paladin Capital Group.  We discuss her early learnings from investing in security which focus on her time working with a portfolio company selling the millimeter wave scanning systems that are now commonplace at airports everywhere. Our conversation detours here into the truly unusual: 3 Americans (Jack, Niloo & Dave) attempting an informed conversation on international privacy.

 

Drawn back into the action, Niloo took subsequent roles transforming a startup (Endgame) and then tried her hand at transforming industry titan RSA as their Chief Strategy Officer. In yet another twist, Niloo then left it all to focus on her terminally ill mother. This experience affected her profoundly and we wrap up this first part of our conversation with Niloo by exploring how she now structures her career on 3 pillars of different activities versus 1 job. 

Part 2

The 2nd half of our conversation with Niloo focuses on her recent work in Washington DC where she holds several positions and recently (October 22nd, 2019) testified to Congress on the United State’s cyber security readiness. We begin with the topic of retaliation: What’s the proper response to a cyber attack if you want to discourage future aggression? 

With the 2020 elections on the horizon, Niloo explains her perspective on influence campaigns such as the highly publicized activities by Russia in the ’16 presidential elections. While often seen as election interference, she explains the broader goal of Russia’s strategy as an attack on the fabric of trust throughout a country— and how your phone and social networks can be complicit in this scheme.

We end on a hopeful note: there are plenty of reasons to believe things will be better in the future in cyber security, starting with government restructuring from long outdated WW2 norms to a more modern organizational design.

About Niloo

Niloofar Razi Howe has been an investor, executive and entrepreneur in the technology industry for the past 25 years, with a focus on Cybersecurity for the past ten. From her recent time at RSA as Chief Strategy Officer to previous roles at Endgame, McKinsey and Paladin, we cover the many angles of Niloo’s career above and in the podcast.

Ms. Howe graduated with honors from Columbia College and holds a JD from Harvard Law School. She serves on the Board of Director of Recorded Future, on the Board of Advisors of Dragos, and Enveil. She is a Senior Operating Partner at Energy Impact Partners, a VC fund investing in companies shaping the energy landscape of the future, a life member at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Senior Fellow, Cybersecurity Initiative at New America, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank.  Her non-profit work includes serving on the board of IREX, an international non-profit organization focused on promoting lasting change, as Vice Chair. 

Entrepreneur, Investor, Leader

19/ NILOOFAR RAZI HOWE

marcin-kleczynski.jpg

The Silicon Valley legend is the college drop-out who made billions… but what if instead they stayed in the dorm room? What if they actually finished school *while* building the business? And if the soul of the business itself was helping people rather than harvesting every last penny from their pockets?  

 

This is the intriguing story of Marcin Kleczynski and MalwareBytes, told in a candid ~1-hour interview where he explains how his company was built in vivid detail. Marcin takes us through his formative moments as a Polish immigrant in Illinois helping his family’s cleaning business to his choice to remain in school at his mother’s insistence while MalwareBytes was making millions. Marcin’s retelling of what it was like, many years later, to take his mother through the MalwareBytes office to meet the hundreds of employees in his company is one of our favorite moments in any Security Voices episode. 

 

Our Interview with Marcin balances his journey as a founder/CEO with an in-depth conversation on the endpoint security business itself. Dave and Marcin discuss key product questions such as how much is too much product functionality to give away, how to work with the channel, whether or not you can effectively serve both consumer and enterprise markets and the future of endpoint protection. 

About Marcin

Marcin is the founder and CEO of Malwarebytes, a company he started while he attended college in Illinois as a ​computer science student and a technician at a Chicago computer repair shop. Born out his frustration with the spyware and malware epidemic in 2004, MalwareBytes focused on threat removal rather than detecting and blocking malware which was the norm at the time.

By offering free versions of their tool to clean millions of computers, MalwareBytes and Marcin earned a well-deserved reputation as the "good guys" of the anti-malware community. This reputation has translated into business results as MalwareBytes has grown steadily throughout the years since it's formal inception in 2008 to present day in 2019 where it stands as a company with longstanding success in both consumer and the enterprise market. 

Founder & Chief Executive Officer, MalwareBytes

18/ MARCIN KLECZYNSKI

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

© 2019 Security Voices.org