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The Way of The Cloud (and a Tale of Two Refrigerators)

We live in a cloud world. And we, at Cyral, are building a cloud-native company.

When my co-founder, Srini, and I met over coffee in 2018 to talk about a new venture, we knew we wanted to build a company to secure data, to prevent breaches and to improve the productivity of security teams. But before we put pen to paper or marker to whiteboard, before we sketched out designs and solutions, we talked about the spirit of the company that we wanted to build. Rather than just building a security product for the cloud era, we wanted to build a company for the cloud era.

The cloud has done more than provide industry with an easier and cheaper technology solution. It has changed how people do business. Ten years ago, vendors dictated the way companies bought products. To learn about those products, engineers listened to live vendor pitches and if they wanted to get their hands around a product, the vendor had to install it for them. Everything was massively curated, which is to say that it was not terribly transparent.

The cloud changed all that. All documentation was freely available on a webpage and in user forums. Products were available to download and try out to get a sense of how they work. The balance of power shifted from the vendors to the users and the buyers.

Over that coffee, I told Srini a story about buying two refrigerators across the space of a decade. In 2009, I went with my father to buy a refrigerator. We ended up buying the refrigerator that the store clerk wanted to sell us. Earlier in 2018, the same year I met Srini, I went with my wife to buy a refrigerator, and we bought the one that my wife wanted to buy. She had done research online and knew before we arrived at the store which refrigerator would sit in our kitchen. The store clerk really only facilitated delivery.

The cloud has created transparency for enterprises in the same way that the internet has created transparency for consumers. It allows customers to focus on finding the best tools for solving their problems rather than giving vendors the opportunity to maximize their wallet share of a given customer.

But while the cloud has changed the way most software is bought and sold, the same change has not yet happened for cybersecurity products. We believe it is time for cybersecurity to undergo its own buying transformation, and we want to be part of that revolution.

Many teams build cloud products but not for cloud companies. They sell cloud products in non-cloud ways. We want to be a cloud company that builds cloud products that are designed to be easy to buy, not easy to sell.

Our ambition is to be intellectually honest and candid about what works and what doesn’t work. That means building products that are easy to use and whose presentation doesn’t rely on buzzwords that only a small subset of people can understand. We want to avoid phrases such as ‘change assurance’ and ‘cybersecurity posture’, and speak instead in layman’s language accessible beyond the office of the chief security officer. We want to burn away the mist that enshrouds cybersecurity systems so that anyone, from the chief executive to a junior employee, can understand what is going on in their business.

It’s all about transparency with customers. It’s about collaborating with them like a partner, instead of as a vendor. It’s about keeping things simple. For us, it began with the personality of the company we wanted to build.

Today, we are excited to announce our Series A round of financing, led by Redpoint Ventures. We’re thrilled to be working with Satish and the team there to advance our vision of a truly cloud native security company. We’ll be growing the Cyral team and investing more in our product, which is already available in early access (sign up here!).

I’m grateful to all our investors, early adopters and employees who believed in our vision and decided to partner with us. We hope others too will join us on this journey and follow the way of the cloud.

Image by AFSAL CMK via the OpenIDEO Cybersecurity Visuals Challenge under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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