~ NetEvents Global Live! – CxO Perspectives: Making sense of cyber challengers, Renuka Nadkarni, Chief Product Officer, Aryaka ~

Aryaka was founded at the dawn of the cloud era, making it well positioned to address challenges around the mass migration of applications out of the on-prem datacenter. With an innovative network and security model, its software-defined WAN philosophy is perfectly tuned for success in a cloud-first world.

The company’s Chief Product Officer Renuka Nadkarni has a powerful vision for redefining security which entails fully integrating network and security to enable true end-to-end protection for organisations worldwide. She talks here to NetReporter about her vision and about why Aryaka is well positioned to deliver it.

NetReporter: How did you arrive at your current role?

Renuka Nadkarni: I started in Technical Marketing and pretty soon got sucked into security. I’ve followed the evolution of security throughout my career. Back in the day you had VPNs then firewalls and then intrusion prevention, network access control, and the Web Secure Gateway. I have pretty much built every kind of security product that’s out there. And I’m very passionate about solving new and emerging security challenges. So that’s been my career for 20 years, spending time on chasing new problems and solving new security issues in the cybersecurity space.

NetReporter: What made Aryaka an attractive career option?

Renuka Nadkarni: The biggest problem that I always had was when I went to a customer to deploy security and there was a lot of like pushback on implementing it, because it was getting in the way of business. Aryaka owns the network fabric so solving the security problem is something that’s super easy for a company like us to do. So that’s what got me interested. We can do a lot more security and better security, because we own the highways.

NetReporter: What problems is Aryaka solving? And who is Aryaka solving these problems for?

Renuka Nadkarni: Back in the day when people were just getting on the Internet, say 20 years ago, it was what I call the infrastructure era. Then we saw a massive shift towards the cloud, the application era. Now what has happened is people have figured they have solved their compute problem but still don’t have the business agility they need. That’s because they still have to take care of the network layer and the security layer. What we are seeing now is customers trying to have this convergence of networking and security. And that’s the promise of SASE, delivering the combined network and security needed by our customers. Then we had COVID, and digital transformation got accelerated 10x. And now people are trying to converge not just the compute problem but other decisions around networking and security, so they have business agility. We are in very interesting times, trying to help customers meet their business goals.

NetReporter: When we look at enterprise organisations, there are these siloes that exist between networking, security and also applications. Does that have to change?

Renuka Nadkarni: I feel like vendors are on a journey where we are helping customers converge. Customers too are on a massive journey. About 10 years ago I was at a customer briefing. I asked how many people were from the networking team, and how many from the security team. One of the leaders stopped me and said: “Everybody’s from security, because security is everyone’s responsibility.” That was an eye opening moment for me. In a typical organisation there used to be at least five buyers, for infrastructure, network, security and so on. Now we are seeing a couple of different buyers. Where we see the industry headed, two years from now, is one buyer who is responsible for delivering to the business what they need.

NetReporter: Describe the unique approach that Aryaka takes to solving problems that other solution providers can’t address.

Renuka Nadkarni: Today, we are much better off in terms of convergence of different security features. About five years ago, you’d go to any customer and they would have 65 different security vendors deployed. Convergence is changing that. So to take Aryaka as an example, we have security integrated in the network fabric. We do not have one box for this another for that. We are able to run everything in a single pass architecture thanks to our 10 plus years of investment in the technology. You might have heard there are 3.5 million job openings in the cybersecurity space today. There is an acute skills shortage. What we bring to the table is not only this single pass architecture with a distributed data plane and a unified control plane, we also hold the customer’s hand with our managed services offering. We help with installation and provisioning, a complete package of not just the technology but also the managed services. We are not trying to rip and replace what customers have. We are trying to help them gradually, making sure that their security posture is always taken care of.”





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