Exclusive Interview: Yair Grindlinger CEO of FireLayers

Can you please give some background into who you are, and what Firelayers does?

I have held entrepreneurial, executive and investment positions in the security and technology industry for 22 years, starting in the IDF. My experience includes roles at Port Authority, STIVentures, SupportSpace and Security-7 among others.  In the past, I have had the pleasure to work with few FireLayers team members including Doron Elgressy, my Co-Founder, Tomer Magid, our VP Product, Fabian Ben Aderet who Leads our Gateway Development and others.

“We recognized that shift to the cloud was tectonic.”

FireLayers delivers the first cloud application control platform that mitigates the many security risks and compliance gaps that exist in cloud applications such as Salesforce, Google Apps, Microsoft 365, SuccessFactors, Netsuite, Yammer, and endless others. The FireLayers Cloud Application Control platform empowers IT and security departments to allow the responsible use of cloud applications by enforcing security, compliance and governance policies across any cloud application for any user on any device.

What was the driving force behind starting Firelayers?

We recognized that shift to the cloud was tectonic. Most of the IT infrastructure of the last 30 years needs to move to the cloud, including the corporate security gateway. We want to be that new gateway. The cloud is a tremendous, fantastic new world and we want to contribute to building and securing it, like we’ve done in the past with corporate security.

Do you believe the face of cloud security has significantly changed as more and more companies move to the cloud?

Definitely.  In the last 5 years, cloud security has moved from a marginal department spend to a significant portion of the corporate IT infrastructure. Cloud security now impacts corporate operation decisions at every level. Here are just a few statistics; In 2011 approximately 13% of enterprises had moved to the cloud in 2014 that number rose to 74% (eWeek) and close  to 60% of organizations report that 10% or more of their budget is spent on cloud services (Thoughts on the Cloud).

Do you think that your time within the IDF contributed to your approach to security?

My time at the IDF trained me to think about security in terms of scale and complexity, and to love it. It has been a while since then and I am still in the game.

What do you feel is the biggest security threat faced by SaaS application developers today?

The biggest advantage of the cloud is its availability and flexibility – anyone can access any application/data at anytime from any location – but that is also what makes it so dangerous.
Just like fire, another game-changing invention, only once it was controlled was its potential truly reached and it could be widely adopted.

In the recent 451 report there was mention that fierce competition is quickly emerging. Have you felt this, and what are you doing to set yourselves apart from companies like SkyHigh Networks and Netskope?

The tectonic shift to the cloud has created a huge, vibrant market full of opportunities for new significant companies to emerge as leaders and for traditional companies to expand into the cloud. Organizations that don’t find themselves “in the cloud” will disappear.

“My time at the IDF trained me to think about security in terms of scale and complexity, and to love it.”

FireLayers is the first to introduce policy-based cloud application controls. Our open platform, integrates with a host of cloud security and monitoring tools, supports the XACML protocol allowing IT to create and enforce corporate security, governance and compliance policies across any user, device and application (popular, customized and home-grown) with near zero performance impact.

With the industry evolving so rapidly where do you see Firelayers going in 5-10 years?

FireLayers will be the de facto platform for policy-based control of cloud applications and the basis for many other technologies that will connect to it.

Earlier this year you received a round of funding from YL Ventures. Should we expect another round any time soon?

When the timing is right, we will share more about this.