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Introducing Patrick Dennis, ExtraHop's New CEO

 

It is probably appropriate to start at the beginning and introduce myself. My name is Patrick Dennis, and earlier today I was announced as the CEO of ExtraHop. Under the leadership of my predecessor, Arif Kareem, ExtraHop has experienced incredible growth and transformation over the last five years, cementing its position as a leader in cybersecurity and transitioning to a high-growth SaaS business that closed out 2021 with nearly $140 million in annual recurring revenue. I want to sincerely thank Arif for his contributions to ExtraHop. I couldn't be more excited about the opportunity ahead.

Read the Press Release: ExtraHop Names Patrick Dennis Chief Executive Officer

This is an important time in the world and an important time in cybersecurity. We exist in a state of continuous compromise where advanced threats are pervasive, and attack techniques have outpaced the tools and resources we have to reliably defend against them. This isn't a reason to give up. This is an opportunity for all of us—technologists, defenders, and business leaders—to make a meaningful impact. I joined ExtraHop because I believe this company can disproportionally contribute to that impact.

I might be new to ExtraHop, but I am not new to security. I was the CEO of Guidance Software, the makers of EnCase. I often joke about growing up reading the print issue of 2600 Magazine. I would wait at the bookstore with my friends knowing when each quarterly issue was going to be released. I was curious about how things worked in the emerging digital world. My childhood curiosity has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry with global implications for governments, business organizations, and citizens.

The cybersecurity industry now spans federal and state agencies, law enforcement, the armed forces, and corporations around the world. While the stakes have never been higher, neither has the sense of urgency and collective mission. I am so happy to be back in the cybersecurity space, working alongside the defenders to protect our institutions, customers, and citizens from attack.

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For the last few years, I led a contact center application software company during a pivotal period for that industry. At the same time that contact volumes reached historic levels, contact center organizations also faced the upheaval of moving their employees to remote work and the disruption of mass resignations.

As a technology provider to that industry, we had a courtside seat to watch the tension build between our customers' application demands and increasingly challenging security requirements brought on by remote work and other factors. On one side, there is mounting pressure to move applications to the cloud to unlock flexibility, scale, and make it easier for employees to work from anywhere without sacrificing customer service. On the other side is a security team watching the number of attack vectors increase by orders of magnitude. Put simply, while the CIO needs to move more to the cloud to support the demands of the business, the CISO is being asked to keep a rapidly evolving attack surface even more secure. This tension is not unique to contact centers. I have seen this tension across every industry and all around the world.

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I return to the cybersecurity industry with new knowledge of, and appreciation for, the challenges that organizations face as they struggle to stop advanced threats without compromising their ability to operate, to innovate, to enable their employees, and to serve their customers. I return to this industry knowing that we must—and can—reduce the friction traditionally associated with security, paving the way for IT and business leaders to scale and innovate without giving up ground against those who seek to compromise us. I return to this industry because the fight is not over, and I'm not done fighting it with you. On the contrary, I'm just getting started. This is an incredibly important moment in cybersecurity, where the demands of the world can either push us together or pull us apart.

I chose to return to the field of cybersecurity with ExtraHop because I think our company's mission, its technology, and the people who stand behind those things can make a disproportionate impact in tipping the scales back in favor of the defenders. Our Reveal(x) 360 platform gives security teams the ability to hunt threats, detect malicious activity, and respond and remediate quickly, everywhere the business operates––from the cloud, to the data center, to your employees' home office. But our technology is just the beginning. We back our tech with:

  • Services that help organizations assure their network, identifying devices vulnerable to zero days like Log4Shell and verifying zero trust architectures and policies
  • Incident response capabilities that quickly determine the blast radius and prioritize keeping your business running while you investigate any incident
  • A true partnership mindset when it comes to our customer relationships

We're in this together.

As I take the reins at ExtraHop, this is my commitment to you, our customers: Together, we are going to continue to pioneer an approach to cybersecurity that evolves with your business rather than holding it back. Solving the pressing security and business challenges we collectively face requires us to think differently about how we approach security and what success looks like. If the only measure of success is preventing intrusion at the cost of speed, scale, and innovation, we're failing. We need to move toward a model that allows security teams to stop the threats that matter without adding friction for the business.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my thoughts. I am really excited about the future for this company and for our industry. With that, I am going to put down the keyboard (so to speak) and head back to the field. I can't wait to meet all of you.

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