Security News

Abnormal Security CTO On Expanding Beyond Email Protection, IPO Aspirations

Kyle Alspach

As Abnormal announced hitting $100 million in ARR along with a pair of big hires, Co-founder and CTO Sanjay Jeyakumar tells CRN this is just the ‘first act’ for the AI-powered cybersecurity vendor.

Abnormal Growth Curve

With the continued focus by hackers on leveraging email in many attacks, the threats associated with the inbox remain front-and-center for most partners and customers. But even with the massive need for innovation in the space, few email security startups have managed to grow into top players in the category in recent years — with Abnormal Security being a notable exception. Founded in 2018 by veterans of companies including Twitter and Google — CEO Evan Reiser and CTO Sanjay Jeyakumar — the company has become a major force in email security thanks to its platform powered by behavioral AI technologies. On Tuesday, Abnormal Security disclosed just how big its business has become, with the announcement that the company recently surpassed $100 million in annual recurring revenue.

[Related: 10 Cool New Security Products Unveiled At Black Hat 2023]

The company also announced a pair of big hires on Tuesday: Michael DeCesare as its new president and Maya Marcus as its chief people officer. DeCesare had stepped down as CEO of cybersecurity vendor Exabeam in June, and prior to that had served as CEO of Forescout, including overseeing its initial public offering in 2017. Marcus had most recently served as vice president of people at cybersecurity giant Palo Alto Networks, and earlier had worked for Pure Storage and Nvidia.

The moves would appear to set up Abnormal Security to stick around as an independent company well into the future — something that Jeyakumar told CRN is, indeed, the goal. “I think what we’re doing [currently] is kind of our first act,” he said, noting that an IPO will be a “milestone that is required in our journey” at some point.

The announcements follow Abnormal’s latest product expansion, during last week’s Black Hat 2023 conference, in which the company unveiled new generative AI-related capabilities. The company said its new CheckGPT tool focuses on detecting attacks that were created using large language models.

What follows is an edited portion of CRN’s interview with Jeyakumar.

Kyle Alspach

Kyle Alspach is a Senior Editor at CRN focused on cybersecurity. His coverage spans news, analysis and deep dives on the cybersecurity industry, with a focus on fast-growing segments such as cloud security, application security and identity security.  He can be reached at

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