Governance & Risk Management , Vulnerability Assessment & Penetration Testing (VA/PT)
Skybox Security Snags Digital Guardian's Mo Rosen as New CEORosen Replaces Skybox Founder Gidi Cohen, Will Pursue Profitability, SaaS Adoption
Skybox Security has landed former Digital Guardian CEO Mo Rosen to pursue profitability and drive adoption of the security policy and vulnerability management vendor's SaaS platform.
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The San Jose, California-based company tasked Rosen with making Skybox's SaaS tool easier to deploy and use and extending the product to more effectively leverage data about exposure, vulnerabilities and exploits across the company's customer base. Rosen started Jan. 9 and replaced founder Gidi Cohen, who served as Skybox's CEO from April 2002 to December 2004 and again from July 2008 to January 2023 (see: Cyber Risk Management: Why Automation Is Essential).
"I'm an old-timer in the space. I've done this before."
– Mo Rosen, CEO, Skybox Security
"I've taken companies that were in the process of aggressively moving to subscription and SaaS from where they were to growing on that front and also crossing over to profitability," Rosen tells Information Security Media Group. "Skybox is at that stage where it has to accelerate its top-line growth. But the company also wants to do that in a profitable way. I'm an old-timer in the space. I've done this before."
Rosen most recently served as CEO of Boston-area data loss prevention vendor Digital Guardian from February 2019 to October 2021 and exited following the company's sale to cybersecurity and automation software provider HelpSystems - now Fortra. Prior to that, Rosen spent three and a half years as security chief at CA Technologies, where he spearheaded the acquisition and sale of Veracode.
Forging a Path to Profitability
In conjunction with Rosen's appointment as CEO, Skybox Security has received $50 million in financing from CVC Growth Funds, Pantheon and J.P. Morgan. CVC and Pantheon led the company's most recent $150 million financing round in October 2017, and Rosen says they're looking to stay involved with Skybox Security and accelerate the company's growth as COVID-19 moves into the rearview mirror.
Rosen expects Skybox Security to cross over to profitability by the end of 2023 by improving the gross margin of its SaaS infrastructure and undertaking other initiatives to make the company more efficient. Increasing top-line sales growth also will play a key role in Skybox crossing over to positive cash EBITDA. Rosen says he isn't sure if he'll pursue layoffs to help with Skybox's push to become profitable.
Skybox's SaaS platform differentiates it from competitors in the security policy management space, such as Tufin and AlgoSec, since the company can deliver quicker time to value and requires less experience and expertise from customers, Rosen says. He also says Skybox is easier to maintain since SaaS-based tools are continuously updated rather than having to be manually updated like products that run on-premises.
As Skybox more effectively leverages cross-customer data, Rosen says the company will deliver more insight into real-time threats and vulnerabilities. Migrations to the cloud and new infrastructure have increased the attack surface, and Rosen says Skybox will take advantage of its visibility to communicate with customers about common configuration issues.
Filling the Demand Generation Funnel
From a geographic perspective, Rosen would like to up Skybox's North American revenue contribution from between 45% and 50% today to the 60 to 65% more typically seen at peer vendors. As far as go-to-market priorities are concerned, Rosen wants to improve Skybox's digital infrastructure in sales and marketing as well as expand and take better advantage of the company's channel partner community in all regions.
Skybox hopes to power up its demand generation engine and get more prospects into the sales funnel by enhancing both its channel efforts as well as digital go-to-market efforts, Rosen says. The company is open to hiring more salespeople once it has enough customer demand to make it worthwhile, but it isn't looking to burn through cash as it pursues a higher rate of growth, according to Rosen.
From a metrics standpoint, Rosen says he plans to closely track financial figures such as annual recurring revenue, gross retention rate and net retention rate. Rosen says the company has a lot of potential to grow faster given Skybox's ability to turn its view of networking and security infrastructure into a model that determines which investments clients should prioritize to improve security posture and reduce risk.
"We're a company that has a unique value proposition," Rosen says. "We have really good private equity backers. We have a really good team, we have cash on the balance sheet, and I see a path toward accelerated growth."