Amit Yoran: Partners Will Be Key Part Of His Strategy As Tenable Network Security's CEO

Amit Yoran, the new CEO at Tenable Network Security, told CRN that he plans to drive a strong channel focus at the vulnerability assessment and management company.

"I'm a firm believer in channel-based distribution models," Yoran said. "The channel will play an increasingly critical role in Tenable's future."

Yoran assumes the top role at Tenable Network Security on Jan. 3, filling a vacancy left by the departure of former CEO Ron Gula in June. He has served as president of RSA since October 2014, taking the role after joining the company as part of its 2011 acquisition of NetWitness.

[Related: RSA President Amit Yoran Takes CEO Spot At Tenable Network Security]

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Yoran said Tenable already has a "strong history of working successfully with their channel" and it is "already in the DNA" of the company to work with partners. He cited his background at RSA, where over the past few years, he led an "aggressive transformation" to move the company towards a partner-led, go-to-market strategy. Yoran said he expects there will be a lot of overlap between the partner bases, as both companies focus on VARs and other partners that look to take their customers through technology transformations and leverage new technologies.

Chris York, regional partner at GuidePoint Security, a Herndon, Va.-based Tenable partner, said he was glad to see Yoran brought on board as CEO.

"I think it’s a great move for Tenable," York said in an interview with CRN. "I think Amit is a very well-respected security thought leaders in the space. I think Tenable is going to be very fortunate to have a leader like Amit on board."

As a partner, York said he was glad to see Tenable continue its growth with the channel, which he said the company is already executing "very well" on, by bringing in a leader, like Yoran, who has led a company with a strong partner focus in the past. He said he is particularly looking forward to expanding GuidePoint's vulnerability management managed service with Tenable as a partner.

"[Yoran] matches up well with what Tenable's direction is around their go-to-market strategy with the channel … I think it’s a great thing for us personally," York said. He said GuidePoint's business with Tenable is already seeing "substantial" growth year-over-year.

York said that push with partners is also key for Tenable to differentiate itself in the vulnerability management market, where he said "Tenable is one of the only players in that space that is 100 percent channel focused."

In addition to driving business through partners, Yoran said his main goal is to set the stage for Tenable to continue growing at a rapid pace. The company has been on a high-growth trajectory, growing billings by 40 percent, unveiling the acquisition of container security company Flawcheck in October, and landing $230 million in Series B funding last year.

"There's is a lot of opportunity. I would say agenda item No. 1 at Tenable is to keep the momentum that we've got going," Yoran said.

"As technology has evolved and enterprise use of technology evolves, we need to make sure Tenable remains on the leading edge of those changes and bring that risk perspective to the CISO [chief information security officer] and the business leadership. That is going to be critical to the company's success going forward," Yoran said.

"I just want to make sure that we continue to lead the market with best of breed technology in threat vulnerability management space," he said.