Network Detection & Response , Next-Generation Technologies & Secure Development , Security Operations

Proofpoint CEO on Thwarting Post-Compromise Lateral Movement

Ashan Willy on Helping Clients Spot Hacker Techniques Insider Their Own 4 Walls
Ashan Willy, CEO, Proofpoint (Image: Proofpoint)

Proofpoint has long focused on preventing cyberattacks, but customers have increasingly asked for help with blocking lateral movement from compromised identities, says CEO Ashan Willy.

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The acquisition of Illusive in December will help Proofpoint both block identity attack paths when a user is compromised and identify the specific attacks an adversary plans to use via deception technology. Willy says Illusive remains undefeated across 150 different red-teaming attacks. Adding that signal to the ones Proofpoint already has will help customers spot attacker techniques inside their own four walls, he says (see: Proofpoint to Buy Deception Firm Illusive, Boost Offerings).

"We do some very extensive analysis when we make acquisitions, and Illusive's tech stack is an excellent tech stack," Willy says. "When you do proof of concepts against other players, we've seen a high win rate. We've talked to a lot of large customers who use Illusive and said that they've done detailed bake-offs. As a product itself, Illusive works very well independently on its own."

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group, Willy also discusses:

  • Why it's so important to have visibility into compromised supplier accounts;
  • What sets Proofpoint's approach to supply chain security apart from rivals;
  • How Proofpoint deals with being both a partner and competitor of Microsoft.

Willy has led Proofpoint since March 2022. He directs a global workforce of more than 4,000 employees focused on defending organizations from advanced threats and compliance risks by protecting their people. He has more than 25 years of leadership experience in sales, channel development, engineering, product management, customer success and worldwide go-to-market strategy across global markets. Prior to joining Proofpoint in December 2016, Willy led teams at Cisco, Webex, Juniper and Polycom.

About the Author

Michael Novinson

Michael Novinson

Managing Editor, Business, ISMG

Novinson is responsible for covering the vendor and technology landscape. Prior to joining ISMG, he spent four and a half years covering all the major cybersecurity vendors at CRN, with a focus on their programs and offerings for IT service providers. He was recognized for his breaking news coverage of the August 2019 coordinated ransomware attack against local governments in Texas as well as for his continued reporting around the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 and early 2021.

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