Cybersecurity CEO of the Year (USA): Rob Pike
CEO Monthly’s Global CEO Excellence Awards 2022 showcase the stories of the brightest and best that leadership around the world has to showcase. In the emerging world of cybersecurity, bold ideas and the confidence to try something new is vital to success. Under the guidance of Rob Pike, Cyemptive Technologies Inc has positioned itself at the forefront of this evolving market. We caught up with Rob in order to take a closer look at how the firm has managed to lead the way and secure incredible success.
We need to change the way we think to match the unique challenges of the digital age. Digital solutions are an inherently disruptive technology, and as they begin to play more of a role in the way that we live, we need to know how best to tackle the difficulties that arise as a result. Most organizations have digital technologies at the heart of their businesses, meaning that bad actors can have a devastating effect in short order. The challenge is not simply to handle these bad actors when they arise, but to anticipate and negate their efforts.
The approach of Cyemptive’s team, therefore, has been to do something different to the rest of the market. In a world of cyber-attacks, their attitude has been to provide technologies and solutions that anticipate the difficulties ahead. The team’s patented technology has been proven to deliver an alternative, disruptive approach to security. Organizations being hacked are the new normal for the world at large, and must be countered effectively from the very beginning of the process.
No one understands this better than Rob Pike, CEO of Cyemptive Technologies. Rob’s background is in changing the world through technology, working with companies at the highest level. “Prior to founding Cyemptive, I served as Chief Strategy Officer at Hitachi Data Systems in Japan, where I invented Hitachi’s UCP cloud platform,” he tells us. “Prior to that, I was with Microsoft, serving in a variety of capacities culminating with Virtualization Architect, where I invented an internal cloud solution.”
This incredible background provided the ideal basis on which to work on a range of start-ups, holding patents in servers, storage, networking, monitoring, security and management. It was whilst working in this environment that Rob discovered many businesses were suffering because of compromises in cybersecurity – including his own! “After developing a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) platform, we suffered from many cybersecurity compromises using the industry’s top hardware and software solutions,” he explains. “Realizing nothing could protect against the onslaught of attacks, we set out to create a platform and suite of solutions that actually could; Cyemptive was born.”
Cyemptive has taken a completely different approach to the rest of the industry. “We have experienced a high level, constant flow of hackers seeking to compromise us to understand our approach. We have constantly analyzed our attackers to adjust our technology to ensure all hacks are pre-empted,” Rob informs us. “There have been years of constant back-and-forth of us getting hacked and then improving. I would have to say that the turning-point was probably during the last twelve to twenty-four months when we started to see that we have actually shut the door, and hackers are not getting past our unique, patented protections. That really turned the corner for us, the day we finally did it. It was a very exciting day; I will tell you that!”
The continued success of Cyemptive Technologies comes from this attitude of constant evolution. There is no singular part which is ever satisfactory when it comes to tackling a changing threat. The team’s solution, therefore, is a full suite of end-to-end solutions protecting the network, perimeter, applications, infrastructure, data/file sets, endpoints and the public cloud. The suite includes, but is not limited to a Perimeter Fortress, Web Fortress, Zero Trust Access, File Service Fortress, Endpoint Fortress, Cloud Fortress and a powerful Enterprise Scanner, making Cyemptive the ultimate cyber defense for enterprise companies seeking to truly lock-down their security.
With such a range of different products on offer, the parameters for success must be clearly defined across the board. As such, Rob has focused in on four separate elements to perfect cyber protection for his customers. “First is people, second is technology, third is service, and fourth is scale,” Rob tells us. “We have nailed the people, the technology and the service, and are currently focused on continuing to scale. In particular, the strength, innovation, overall knowledge, and relentless contribution from the team surrounding me has been instrumental in making the dream come true.”
Building a team that can achieve the vision that Rob has had for Cyemptive was by no means straightforward. He worked tirelessly to bring together a host of thought leaders and experts in the field of cyber-security. These are people who know the importance of good cyber-hygiene and are committed to offering a comprehensive cyber-protection level that no competitor can match. “I believe in surrounding myself with the right people, placing them in the right seats, and then empowering them to execute at the highest levels,” Rob explains. “That being said, effective empowerment requires alignment on what we are seeking to achieve plus a structure to guide us.
Guiding this team of talented individuals to joint success has required Rob to pick his input carefully, allowing people the independence they need to flourish whilst keeping the company moving in the same direction. We asked him how he managed to ensure that everyone understands the vision he presents. “It is essential to set, communicate, and align on the core purpose of the company, the values we will all adhere to, and clear, measurable goals, objectives and associated initiatives,” he says. Whilst this might seem straightforward, Rob insists on the ability to track these values so that any drift can be quickly identified. “Overlay a performance measurement system and retain the ability to adjust quickly when needed. Be relentless. This requires leadership and adaptability to an ever-changing world.”
The ever-changing world that Cyemptive finds itself in is why they have had to set themselves apart from the crowd. Companies are increasingly suffering from the negative impact of sophisticated ransomware and malware attacks. Industry research suggests that more than $7.5 billion was lost in 2019 alone, an amount which has only increased as more companies begin to depend on their digital infrastructure and as more people have seen the illegal potential in taking advantage of the gaps in the market. This growth is shown by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, which has reported an over 300% increase in the number of complaints per day during 2020, compared to pre-COVID-19 reporting.
In many ways, it was the COVID-19 pandemic that proved to many the need for a system that Rob and his team had created. In short order, more and more people were working from home creating a situation where emerging threats could have a greater impact than before. The current processes such as big data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, checksum technology, monitoring known signatures and APIs, and human intervention simply are not effective when facing up to ever-evolving, zero-day ransomware variations. Cyemptive is.
At the heart of how Cyemptive operates is the belief that solutions where humans must play an integral part are simply too slow to react to the challenges presented by modern hackers, who are using the latest technologies, and this is why companies and businesses need to react in kind. Artificial intelligence and machine learning often presents false positives, or worse, false negatives and can take days, weeks or even months to identify a potential compromise. Cyemptive’s CyberSlice, CyberScan, and CyberSLA technologies can do this in a manner that counteracts any attack and/or pace a hacker can attempt. With system infiltration and data exfiltration taking seconds to minutes at most, a swift response is vital, and that’s precisely what Cyemptive offers.
Whilst every organization values cyber-security, no two systems are the same and each requires bespoke treatment to get the most out of what is being offered. It’s little wonder, therefore, that one of the first steps by the Cyemptive team is to start with a free assessment of their current cyber security and how effective that is. From this detailed analysis, the team produces a custom plan that guarantees superior cyber-hygiene, transitioning effortlessly from an organization’s current state to one which is a secure Zero-Trust computing environment.
The level of service offered by the team is truly exemplary, where clients have access to their own personal representative as well as 24/7 monitoring and support. At no point will you be left on your own. When you take on a Cyemptive solution, you take on a solution that is specifically designed to reduce organizational risk, cost and reputation exposure while providing financially-backed performance guarantees. When up against threats that no one has ever faced before, the Cyemptive team are some of the few who have proven themselves capable of overcoming this significant threat. The consistency of the team in this regard has allowed them to make Service Level Agreements that financially guarantee they will achieve performance commitments.
For Rob who has always had new and bold ideas, Cyemptive has allowed him to run with a concept that is genuinely disruptive. His idea is one which has evolved from people’s needs, but is entirely different to anything else. “I have been a disruptive thinker as far back as I can truly remember,” he tells us. “Focusing disruptive visions into real-world innovation is what I strive to accomplish.” Anyone can have ideas, but it takes tenacity and determination to transform those ideas into fully-fledged businesses.
Today, Cyemptive is his primary focus and will remain so until the vision is complete. 2022 seems certain to be an exciting period of growth for the company, with three key areas of focus for the next few months. Firstly, the team intends to continue scaling the company using their existing suite of integrated end-to-end solutions, secondly, they intend to introduce an entirely new cloud-based security solution utilizing their unique, patented cyber technology and thirdly they are looking to finalize a partnership with a large, global firm to prepare to fulfil the initial vision of Cyemptive – that of making the world cyber safe.
Rob is prepared to take on these challenges as they come, but it would be fair to say that Cyemptive is not the only solution he has thought about over the years. “I have many more ideas percolating in the back of my mind,” he tells us. “I’m ready to evolve from the idea concept, to develop the fundamental technology, and then get the right people behind it to drive another successful disruptive contribution.” For many people, the success, and sheer potential of Cyemptive would be enough. For him, it is just the beginning.
With digital solutions now at the heart of almost every organization, the impact of a cyber-attack can be grave indeed. Cyemptive is a bolt from the blue offering the solutions that companies need tomorrow – today. By keeping pace with how hackers and cyber-attackers are threatening businesses, they have been able to prove themselves more than capable of delivering exceptional results. None of this could have been achieved, however, without the sterling efforts of Rob Pike. Cyemptive is the result of his vision, his determination and his passion for changing an ever-changing world. We celebrate his tremendous success in CEO Monthly’s Global CEO Excellence Awards 2022 and cannot wait to see where his inspiration takes him next.