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FireMon Founder Jody Brazil Returns As CEO After Acquisition

‘This is more than just acquiring the [DisruptOps] technology. This is about fundamentally shifting FireMon from the historic on-prem technology management platform that we’ve been into the age of the cloud,’ says Jody Brazil.

Longtime FireMon CEO Jody Brazil has returned as the company’s top executive following the firm’s acquisition of cloud security operations startup DisruptOps.

Brazil is replacing Satin Mirchandani, who had served as president and CEO of Overland Park, Kansas-based network security policy management vendor FireMon since 2016. Brazil co-founded FireMon, was its CEO from 2004 to 2015, and continued in other executive roles at the company until leaving at the start of 2018 to launch and lead DisruptOps. FireMon’s acquisition of DisruptOps closed Aug. 30.

“We have the same missions,” Brazil told CRN. “The underlying technologies we help manage are a little different, but it’s the exact same mission for the exact same people.”

[Related: Sources: Firemon Executive Exodus Sees CEO, CTO And CISO Departures]

The rest of FireMon’s existing leadership team outside of Mirchandani will remain with the company, with DisruptOps Chief Operating Officer Matt Eberhart taking over go-to-market for the combined company. FireMon Founder and Chairman Gary Fish brought up the idea of combining the two companies during a round of golf with Brazil in early July, and terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Both FireMon and DisruptOps are focused on security management, Brazil said, with the former specializing in putting firewalls on networks and managing them. DisruptOps, meanwhile, provides an operations platform to manage cloud technologies that can identify where mistakes were made, understand what the mistakes are and fix those problems, according to Brazil.

FireMon has an immediate opportunity to cross-sell the DisruptOps technology to its more than 1,000 marquee enterprise customers, Brazil said. The company plans to quickly educate its sales teams and sales engineers about DisruptOps and roll out channel enablement around DisruptOps in roughly a month. Both FireMon and DisruptOps are typically purchased by the CISO or director of security, he said.

The acquisition of DisruptOps will allow FireMon to expand its support of security policies in the public cloud beyond firewalls to include network load balancers and other technologies, Brazil said. FireMon had some demo and testing capabilities around network security policy management for Azure and AWS, but the DisruptOps deal will really help manage identities and access at the control plane level.

“This is more than just acquiring the technology,” Brazil said. “This is about fundamentally shifting FireMon from the historic on-prem technology management platform that we’ve been into the age of the cloud.”

DisruptOps helps enforce security policies and define what good looks like in the cloud and is vital to organizations who are looking to migrate from the data center to the cloud, according to Brazil. The company’s technology historically hadn’t been sold much through the channel but going forward will be delivered exclusively through solution providers just like FireMon as a whole, Brazil said.

Brazil expects to see solution providers offering cost management services around DisruptOps as well as including it as part of their managed security bundle. From a metrics perspective, Brazil is tracking in the near-term how many existing FireMon customers also sign up to be customers of DisruptOps. Over time, Brazil said the DisruptOps deal should help with incorporating cloud into FireMon’s long-term strategy.

“We sit in a very good spot to go deliver the security operations platform of the future,” Brazil said.

Bringing the security and DevOps teams together to find and fix issues before they are a problem is typically challenging, according to Mark Miller, Kudelski Security’s general manager for the Southern United States. Security in the public cloud is a huge concern for clients of Kudelski, and the DisruptOps technology could help alleviate those concerns, Miller told CRN in an email.

“This is an opportunity for us to align better with clients’ cloud projects and gives us something unique to sell,” Miller said. “This looks like it will help streamline the process of identifying security risks in public cloud environments, which can be very difficult.”

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