A Decade of Vision

By Jim Reavis, Co-founder and CEO, Cloud Security Alliance

CSA 10th anniversary logo

Developing a successful and sustainable organization is dependent upon a lot of factors: quality services, a market vision, focus, execution, timing and maybe a little luck. For Cloud Security Alliance, now celebrating our 10th anniversary, I would add one more factor—believers. 

While we have had a few doubters, we have had more believers who have helped us fulfill our vision and allowed us to be one of the most important information security associations on a global basis. On this occasion, we want to recognize three such believers, who were there at the beginning and have all stayed intimately involved with CSA during our first decade. I am referring to our three founding CEOs, whom we are providing our Decade of Vision Leadership award. These CEOs provided the initial startup funding and, more than that, have provided consistent support and mentoring, as well as evangelizing the CSA mission on a global basis.

Philippe Courtot, CEO of Qualys, is inarguably an industry visionary as well as a generous human being. Philippe has been promoting the benefits of a cloud approach to security at Qualys for over 18 years, well before we called this cloud. He has had a unique determination in pursuit of his goals and eschewed more expedient paths to cement Qualys as an industry leader based upon integrity. Philippe always supports worthwhile industry initiatives, including CSA, but many others as well. We are proud to be Philippe’s partner with the CIO/CISO Interchange.

Jay Chaudhry, CEO of Zscaler, has an unbelievable record as a serial entrepreneur in information security and has led one of the most successful industry IPOs in our history.  Jay started Zscaler at about the same time as CSA was getting off the ground, and never fails to get behind important CSA initiatives. Jay was the first person who fully articulated Security-as-a-Service to me, which helped craft our mission statement of securing the cloud, as well as leveraging the cloud to secure the rest of the world.

Phil Dunkelberger, CEO of Nok Nok Labs, was a founding CEO while leading PGP Corporation. Phil’s zeal in promoting ubiquitous encryption was not merely based upon helping a company protect its information, but on how accelerating the exchange of trusted information can transform business as we know it. Phil has supported numerous industry initiatives and was a key stakeholder in launching the FIDO Alliance, tackling the very difficult problem of online identities and strong authentication.

I have found that successful CEOs in our industry share common traits.  They have a sense of the magnitude of the battle we fight that supersedes any one company’s mission. They think about the world with a longer term perspective than the immediacy of today. They have tremendous empathy for the good guys in our industry and want to make them successful. A company could do a lot worse than to have three such founding CEOs.