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Imperva Taps Infor COO Pam Murphy As New CEO After Data Breach

Murphy will replace Charles Goodman, who had served as Imperva’s interim CEO since October after ex-CEO Chris Hylen abruptly stepped down in what he told CRN was a 'personal decision.'

Imperva has named longtime Infor COO Pam Murphy to be its next CEO following a data breach and the sudden resignation of the company’s previous top executive.

The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based cybersecurity vendor said Murphy will replace Charles Goodman, who had served as Imperva’s interim CEO since October after ex-CEO Chris Hylen abruptly stepped down in what he told CRN was a “personal decision.” Goodman will continue to serve as the chairman of Imperva’s board, a role he has held since early last year.

“We’re excited to have Pam join us on our mission to protect critical assets from cybercriminals’ ever-changing attacks,” Goodman said in a statement. “As an accomplished executive who has led operations for some of the world’s largest software companies and demonstrated ability to deliver customer value on a massive scale, she is perfectly positioned to lead Imperva through our next phase of growth.”

[Related: Imperva CEO Chris Hylen Steps Down In Wake Of Data Breach: Report]

One of Murphy’s first tasks will be to address the reputational damage Imperva suffered as a result of a data breach that came to light in 2019 and exposed the personal information for some web application firewall (WAF) users. Just weeks before Hylen’s resignation, Imperva publicly disclosed unauthorized use of an administrative API key in one of its production AWS accounts dating back to October 2018.

This resulted in the exposure of a database snapshot containing email addresses as well as hashed and salted passwords for some Imperva customers, Imperva CTO Kunal Anand said in 2019. Imperva created an AWS database snapshot for testing as well as an internal compute instance that was accessible to the outside world and contained an AWS API key, which was subsequently compromised, Anand said.

As a result, the company acknowledged in August 2019 that some Imperva WAF users had their email addresses, hashed passwords, API keys and SSL certificates exposed. The company’s recommendations coming out of the data breach led Imperva users to change more than 13,000 passwords, rotate more than 13,500 SSL certificates, and regenerate more than 1,400 API keys.

Murphy, meanwhile, joined Infor from Oracle at the end of 2010 and helped morph a business that was essentially a collection of acquisitions into a leading business application firm. Specifically, Imperva praised Murphy for transforming Infor from a legacy on-premises software company to an industry-leading enterprise Software-as-a-Service provider by building out a cloud product road map and partnering with AWS.

“Imperva offers incredible solutions that help our customers navigate the complex and dynamic world of security, risk and compliance, while at the same time enabling progressive business transformation in an increasingly challenging marketplace,” Murphy said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to building on the foundation laid by our outstanding leadership team and capitalizing on Imperva’s market-leading products.”

Murphy said in the statement that she’s looking to significantly grow Imperva’s business domestically and internationally, and wasn’t immediately available for additional comment. Imperva was sold to private equity giant Thoma Bravo for $2.1 billion in January 2019 following more than eight years as a publicly traded company.

Prior to joining Infor, Murphy spent nearly 11 years at Oracle, culminating in a role as vice president of global business units for finance and global sales operations, according to her LinkedIn page. Murphy began her career at Andersen Consulting and Arthur Andersen where she was a senior manager of business consulting and an auditor, respectively.

At Imperva, Murphy will be able to build on the company’s recent acquisition of Prevoty for $140 million to better protect application services residing on-premises and in the cloud, as well as its purchase of bot management vendor Distil Networks to defend business-critical data and applications no matter where and how they're deployed.

Imperva currently employs 1,206 people, according to LinkedIn, down 3 percent from 1,241 workers in January 2019.

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