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Why I joined Menlo: New CISO – Devin Ertel

Devin Ertel | Sep 09, 2021

Devin Ertel CISO Headshot

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As I start my new role as CISO with Menlo Security, I want to introduce myself and share my thoughts about not only why I joined Menlo, but also about how I will help our customers ensure that they are protecting their users and networks. As Menlo’s CISO, I am responsible for providing internal cybersecurity guidance and policy insights to both the company and our customers. I’m also focused on reducing the company’s risk and security exposure.

First, a little bit about me. Prior to joining Menlo Security, I was CISO at BlackHawk Network, a multi-billion-dollar global FinTech leader in the prepaid gift cards and payments industry. I managed a global team responsible for security, risk, and compliance.  I also served as head of Security and IT at Guidebook, a venture-backed global SaaS company where I built and oversaw the security program. My previous experience includes security positions in several Fortune 100 organizations. During my time with both Mandiant and the U.S Federal Reserve, I had hands-on experience mitigating large, high-profile breaches and dealing with highly motivated global threat actors. 

My philosophy is centered around the belief that security should be easy to implement, deploy and manage. It shouldn’t be something that interferes or hinders the user’s experience. That brings me to why I joined Menlo. The products that we provide, because of our patented Isolation Core™ technology, truly helps organizations to manage and respond to threats more effectively. How do we do it–by making it possible for companies to block threats from getting in. And it is easily rolled out and managed. I believe this is a game changer. Just look at some of the customers on Menlo’s roster.

In this era of remote and hybrid work, and digital transformation, technology is not just a support for business, but the foundation of a business that interconnects multiple local data centers, remote cloud applications, the supply chain, remote customers, and all connections between them. Without the right security posture, this can be an environment ripe for attack. Think about all the attacks we are seeing today.

With most work today is happening in the browser; companies need solutions that prevent web-based threats from reaching users while protecting the organization’s productivity. But security should not diminish the user experience or productivity. However, experience has taught me that organizations are often under the impression that productivity or user experience must be sacrificed to achieve security. I don’t believe that is true. I’m eager to build a security program that not only addresses industry challenges, but also enables our customers to do the same for their respective businesses. Menlo Security provides an innovative, differentiated approach to securing work for the modern business and I’m excited to be a part of the journey.

So, what is the role of the CISO in this era? I believe the CISO must be integrated into the fabric of the business itself and have a detailed understanding of business processes and priorities. Today’s CISO must not only be a technical expert, but a business specialist as well. As the threat landscape expands, and businesses grapple with the new normal brought on by a global pandemic, a successful CISO operates at the intersection of technology and business.

Menlo Security’s top priority is to prevent and protect against Internet risk. I share this priority and am excited to make it a reality for Menlo and our customers. I would love to hear your thoughts about the role of the CISO and anything else security related. Shoot me an email at [email protected] and we can continue the discussion. I’d also like to hear if you have any CISO-related topics you’d like to see addressed in future blogs—just don’t think about trashing my San Francisco Giants!

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