Five lessons learned on the journey from Innovation Sandbox to global cybersecurity company

The RSAC 2015 Innovation Sandbox contest served as Cybereason’s debut to the security community. At the time, we were a 20-person company that had just moved into its first office. For many of us, that marked our first time participating in a major security conference.

As we prepare for another appearance at RSAC, it’s hard not to notice how much our company has changed in two years’ time. Here’s some of what we have learned during our journey from the Innovation Sandbox to a global cybersecurity company:

Fail fast and change course faster: Don’t fear failure. It’s the only way you’ll learn what you don’t know and improve. Going to the edge and pushing beyond it despite the risk of failing is the only way you’ll achieve something greater. Staying in your comfort zone can make you complacent and not think of ways to improve your product. This perspective is particularly applicable to startups. In those environments, you’re always learning, adapting and being an expert in an area of business you previously knew nothing about. But by the time you have one area figure out, you soon realize there’s another subject you need to master. By taking a risk, failing, learning from the experience and immediately changing course, you’ll learn more and achieve excellence at a much faster rate.

Nurture your employees: Startups are often focused on getting folks in the door to build, market and sell their product. Those are all important components for success. But we believe that nurturing those employees so they - and their institutional knowledge - stick around is equally important. Build out a full human resources team (a process we recently started) to help your employees grow their careers and handle any job-related concerns that may crop up. And, despite everyone’s best efforts, those concerns will inevitably crop up. Processes are still being developed and employees are still trying to learn each other’s communication styles. But we believe that open communication and having approachable workers (read on for more on both of those topics) are a great way to counter these growing pains.

Speak freely: Employees should always be free to ask each other and their managers questions. Not only does this approach build relationships between people, it provokes thought and can lead to different perspectives being shared. If you have an office, get out of it and communicate with people face to face. Office walls can sometimes serve as needlessly protective barriers. No technology can substitute an in-person conversation between co-workers. Often, it’s the casual interactions between colleagues that lead to the most knowledge being shared and the creation of ideas. And don’t fear challenging questions. That means people are really listening to what you’re saying and thinking about how it impacts their role and the organization.

To learn how hiring people who are approachable and questioning everything as you move forward can benefit your startup, head to RSA's website and read the full blog post.

Lior Div
About the Author

Lior Div

Lior Div, CEO and co-founder of Cybereason, began his career and later served as a Commander in the famed Unit 8200. His team conducted nation-state offensive operations with a 100% success rate for penetration of targets. He is a renowned expert in hacking operations, forensics, reverse engineering, malware analysis, cryptography and evasion. Lior has a very unique perspective on the most advanced attack techniques and how to leverage that knowledge to gain an advantage over the adversary. This perspective was key to developing an operation-centric approach to defending against the most advanced attacks and represents the direction security operations must take to ensure a future-ready defense posture.

All Posts by Lior Div