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Cohesity CEO Sanjay Poonen: Storage And Security Are Now A ‘Blended Conversation’

Joseph F. Kovar

‘Once you’ve protected the perimeter network, endpoint and identities, you’re getting to the last line of defense, which is typically a backup. And if the bad guys could take out not just those perimeters but also your last line of defense, you’re very vulnerable,’ Cohesity CEO Sanjay Poonen tells CRN.

Interconnected: Storage And Security

Sanjay Poonen, VMware’s former COO who took over as CEO of Cohesity, recently celebrated his first 100 days at the helm of the San Jose, Calif.-based storage vendor. It has been a busy time for Poonen, who has held meetings with the company’s 2,500 employees and most of its top solution providers while preparing for Cohesity ReConnect, which was held this month.

Cohesity, known as a provider of data management technology, has like many in the storage industry made security a core part of its offerings. However, the company and its new CEO are moving swiftly to bring data security front and center. Cohesity just introduced new data vaulting and other capabilities for protecting data from ransomware attacks. More importantly, it has unveiled a new alliance with some of the top vendors in security and has built a security advisory board that includes security executives from Google, Facebook and most recently Microsoft.

[Related: New Cohesity CEO Sanjay Poonen: ‘Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants’]

Storage and security today has become a blended conversation.

“Once you’ve protected the perimeter network endpoint and identities, you’re getting to the last line of defense, which is typically a backup, and if the bad guys could take out not just those perimeters and also your last line of defense, you’re very vulnerable,” he said. “So as a result, CISOs and CEOs and CIOs are talking about topics like immutable backups, air-gapped solutions, cyber resilience, cyber vaults, being able to be able to recover really fast from a black swan event and how to plan for it effectively.”

“It’s an infrastructure discussion on data, which does have relevant people under the CTO and folks who own storage that will come to the discussion,” he said. “But the discussion often also has people who are from the security team, the SOC [Security Operations Center) or the CISO.”

Here is what Poonen had to say about the ties between storage and security and the big changes Cohesity is implementing to bring the two technologies together.

 
Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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