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Thought Leaders in Cyber Security: Craig Hinkley, CEO of WhiteHat Security (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Jun 15th 2015

Cyber Security is becoming a bigger threat every day. Every website and app is exposed, vulnerable. This discussion explores the topic in depth, and offers pointers to open opportunities for entrepreneurship.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with introducing our audience to yourself as well as WhiteHat.

Craig Hinkley: I’m the CEO of WhiteHat Security. WhiteHat Security is a company that helps customers develop secure software. We’ve been around since 2002. We were the first company who really helped incubate and develop the web application security market. We’re a company of 300 plus employees. We’re headquartered out of Santa Clara with offices in Houston, Pittsburgh, and Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Sramana Mitra: How many customers do you have and what’s the revenue level of the company?

Craig Hinkley: We have over 750 customers. We have over 30,000 websites and applications that we’re providing services to today. We are a $50 million plus revenue company. We are looking to be growing 30% this year.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s take one of your customers and double-click down on what it means to provide cyber security solutions to a website or an app.

Craig Hinkley: I’ll step back a second and provide a context for the use cases. When we look at the cyber security industry, the major change in the last year or so has been the lifting of the relevance and the awareness of cyber security to the CEO and Board level because of the very public exposure of the Targets and, more recently, IRS and even the Federal Government Verification Agency with millions of Federal employees’ records at risk.

In that backdrop, we can talk about the cyber security market the software development life cycle where, ultimately, what customers are trying to do is develop more secure software and applications. That’s where we help our customers – through that full software development life cycle. When they’re actually releasing their applications or websites, we’re also there to help them detect, correct, and manage any of those bugs and defects that show up as vulnerabilities in the web. That’s just the back drop. I’ll talk about the customer use cases that highlight the value we provide to customers.

Sramana Mitra: Let me ask you something before we move from here. It’s the counterpoint of what you’re saying. When a website is getting developed, if you do not do secure development, what kinds of vulnerabilities are likely to open up? Are developers likely to create vulnerabilities that would cause whole credit card lists of customers being open to intrusion?

Craig Hinkley: In terms of the defects or vulnerabilities that show up, WhiteHat has just released our annual website statistics report. That talks about the types and classes of vulnerabilities that we find across our customer base. I’d definitely point readers to the WhiteHat website stat report.

More importantly, it’s not just the types of vulnerabilities. What’s the exposure in terms of business risks for customers? Very clearly, a lack of cyber security capabilities leads to the ability for hackers to come in and steal customer information, steal your proprietary data, and get in behind your application. That’s where the big risk is. Without the proper security capabilities, you are, in essence, opening up a window into your company’s data and information. Poor cyber security is creating holes directly into critical information that companies have spent years developing.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cyber Security: Craig Hinkley, CEO of WhiteHat Security
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