CTA Board of Directors Spotlight: Lee Klarich, Chief Product Officer, Palo Alto Networks
What inspired you to found CTA?
The threat intelligence information gleaned by threat researchers is invaluable to defending against cyberthreats, and ultimately, it’s our belief that the cybersecurity industry shouldn’t compete on what threat intelligence we all have access to, but on how capable our products are at using that intelligence to defend against attacks.
At Palo Alto Networks, we founded the Cyber Threat Alliance to create an exchange of threat intelligence with the goal of helping the cybersecurity industry better defend against the ever-evolving threat landscape.
The Cyber Threat Alliance members have highly talented and effective threat research and response teams. This includes Palo Alto Networks’ own Unit 42, a world-renowned team of researchers and consultants sought out and trusted by customers and global law enforcement.
By founding the CTA Palo Alto Networks is doing its part to make the digital world a little safer.
What do you hope to accomplish as a CTA board member?
Palo Alto Networks’ first priority is to make the digital world a safer place—this means sharing threat intel with companies, even if they are our competitors. I want to encourage security providers and the broader security community to be much more open to sharing intelligence across the industry (despite sometimes being competitors). I also hope to see this openness extend beyond the industry to sharing with key stakeholders in the public sector.
For all of us to be successful at defending against attacks, we are going to have to collaborate to create robust access to our threat intelligence. As a non-profit organization formed by the industry’s best, CTA has the structure to make sharing successful.
What keeps you motivated?
The cyberthreat landscape continues to evolve in scope and scale, and we have no expectations that this change will slow. The good news is that cybersecurity continues to evolve, too. We’re making incredible advances, including solving problems that were previously considered unsolvable, such as stopping zero-day threats without prior knowledge of the attack.
I’m motivated and excited by the potential of what we’ll be able to do in the future. I truly believe cybersecurity is solvable. Working across the industry to share threat intelligence is a necessary part of that solution.
There are still a few pieces to solving the puzzle where we as an industry need to do more work. This includes reducing the complexity of cybersecurity (and I believe strides are being made). It also includes helping organizations evolve their view on cybersecurity: Despite all the visibility into the threat environment and the advances in cybersecurity offerings, many organizations still choose to play the odds that they will not be the target of a cyberattack.
CTA plays an important role in all of this and Palo Alto Networks is proud to be part of it.
What does it mean to you to be a CTA board member?
The forming of the CTA has a very personal connection for me given the history of Palo Alto Networks and our strong belief in the need to share threat intel with the cybersecurity community. Being on the board is about ensuring the core mission is always front and center – to expand sharing and diversify membership to add new sources of intel that compliments the sources we already have.
Who inspires you in the security community?
There are so many amazing individuals in security—I’d feel bad naming just one person and leaving others out. The group that’s inspiring to me is the optimists who believe cybersecurity is a solvable challenge.
The industry has made incredible strides – for example, utilizing the advances made in machine learning and artificial intelligence to make use of all the data available, stop attacks inline, and more quickly defend new technologies (for example the speed of which we were able to secure the transformation to the cloud). The cybersecurity industry has come a long way from where it began and it inspires me to think about how far we will go.
What do you like to do for fun, or in your downtime outside of work?
I’m an avid long-distance runner and have been my whole life. I’ve completed a number of marathons and half-marathons and I get up early most mornings to get a run in before I ‘start’ the day.
Since early product inception in 2006, Lee Klarich has served as the head of product management at Palo Alto Networks, overseeing the product strategy and roadmap and playing a key role in delivering our Next-Generation Security Platform. In August 2017, he became chief product officer with responsibility for both engineering and product management for the company.
Prior to Palo Alto Networks, he was the director of product management for Juniper Networks, where he was responsible for firewall/VPN platforms and software. He joined Juniper Networks through the NetScreen Technologies acquisition, where he managed the same product line. Previously, he held various positions at Excite@Home and Packard Bell-NEC. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Cornell University.
Author: Lee Klarich
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