Women have been at the forefront of many industries with their exemplary leadership skills and diligence, and cyber security is no exception. Leading by example, women have not only changed the landscape of the industry, but also have inspired other women to pursue a career in the cyber security. Amongst those women, one is Gily Netzer.
An avid marketer and a results-driven leader, Gily is a marketing strategist and veteran leader with 20 years of international B2B Cybersecurity experience. She currently serves as Chief Marketing Officer at Cymulate, a SaaS-based Continuous Security Validation platform that makes it simple to know and optimize security posture of companies all the time and empowers companies to control and safeguard their business-critical assets.
Gily’s experience includes marketing leadership roles in startups such as Cymulate, Illusive Networks (of Team8) and large brands, including Symantec. She speaks at e vents (e.g., GRC World Forums – PrivSec, Ladies in Cyber, Wonder Women in Tech) and is a contributor to publications such as Forbes, Help Net Security, CyberSecurity Ventures, IT Toolbox, etc. She is also one of the few CMOs that can claim to have served in an F-15 squadron.
Gily is also an Advisory Board member and volunteers as a mentor to students at the Hebrew University, educating the next generation. She is building teams across regions, establishing new technological categories, forming a marketing machine, market leadership, relationships to drive business and consistent growth year-over-year and is passionate about Business to Human (B2H) style marketing.
Educating Market About Game-changing Technology
Gily mentions that Cymulate’s journey since inception has been fast paced, challenging and exciting. Success has come through the execution of its short-term and long-term vision, constantly fine tuning its positioning, messaging, and platform to better meet its customers’ needs. It has also come by educating the market and creating awareness that its game-changing approach and technology can solve critical enterprise and service provider security posture validation needs. Gily has built a multi-faceted marketing team which includes product marketing, brand, and corporate communication, digital, field, channel marketing teams which has put Cymulate into the top leadership position within security posture category and led to better brand awareness, demand generation, pipeline acceleration, retention of hundreds of customers and more.
Transitioning from a Well-Known Company to Startup
As a Chief Marketing Officer for her current and last cybersecurity startup, transitioning from a well-known, large company, Symantec, was a big change. Where both startups focused on innovative, new cybersecurity technologies, Symantec focused on well-established customer base with commodity solutions which were easier to sell. At Symantec, Gily worked on a large marketing team where she could focus mostly on field and channel-driven demand generation. Coming into the startup atmosphere with limited resources and team, she learned to be very agile, resourceful, and knowledgeable. The change was necessary for her to take both startups from an unknown brand to the market leader position, each in their respective categories.
Educating and Offering Value to Security Professionals
Second challenge Gily witnessed was COVID-19. Cymulate crossed out its existing 2020-2021 plan and devised an entirely new strategy to fit the challenges COVID brought along with it. People were concerned about their health, job security, providing for their families, working from home, and had no physical events to interact and build relationships with, and more. It is at that point that the company moved over from a pure B2B strategy to a Business to Human (B2H) strategy, thinking of the prospects/customers and partners’ hearts and minds and doing things different. It began doing more for the community, reaching people from a different angle, thinking repeatedly what the value it can create for them and seeing the ROI (Return on Investment) as a longer term KPI.
Talking about the impact of the pandemic, Gily shares that the Business to Human (B2H) strategy Cymulate incorporated at the start of the pandemic is here to stay. Cymulate will continue to give back to the community and to be mindful of the impact the pandemic might have had on its prospects and fine tune its marketing accordingly. The company created a free, online, cyber education program to educate and offer value to security professionals. It extended an offer to use its Continuous Security Validation Platform for 2 free months as COVID broke, and people started working from home with less security controls, just to enable enterprises and security professionals to be safer. The goal is long term and trust-based relationships. The team at Cymulate also thinks about the environment and as a thank you to new customers, they plant trees on their behalf. They have increased community benefit by offering referral to existing customers who bring them new customers by making contributions on their behalf to their favorite charities.
Having Optimized Cybersecurity Controls and Incident Response Plans
According to Gily, advancements and improvements come when one combines technical development with innovation. Enterprises with modern DevOps change minute by minute and with attackers and threats evolving daily, it is essential for enterprise IT security assessments to maximize coverage, customizability and come with a constantly updating series of tests to ensure that their cybersecurity controls, incident response plans and personnel are optimized. The real innovation is realized by being able to do that in an automated and easily understood fashion and to offer it as software as a service which makes it an easy addition with little to no overhead to incorporate and run.
Cymulate is the premier continuous security validation vendor. It has created a superior way to assess its customers’ security posture effectively against realworld threats and differentiated itself from the competition by effectively automating everything with software as a service, updated 365/24/7, is simple for enterprises to deploy and manage. The platfrom is customizable to all maturity levels and enterprise sizes. It is by far the most comprehensive covering the full attack kill-chain, attack vectors as well as purple teaming and red teaming techniques.
Building Skill Sets of Cyber Practitioners
Moreover, Cymulate just launched a free Cymulate Academy with ISC2 Cybersecurity CPE credits associated with the courses which help build cyber practitioners’ skill sets. It has several opensource projects underway that look at automating continuous automated red teaming, DevOps integration with continuous security validation assessments and even automating the incorporation of new attacker tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) into cybersecurity control checks. It would like to bring in changes to security controls in making things easier to manage and run, more automated and controls which have a better grasp on how to measure and convey actual risk in a better fashion.
Optimizing Cyber Posture of Companies Continuously Cymulate enables companies to challenge, assess and optimize their cyber posture, simply and continuously. It has been chosen as the best product for 2021 by F&S and as the leader in Innovation by Frost Radar. Its 5- year vision is to be the largest and leading validation company without analysts.
A Note to Emerging Women Leaders
Gily encourages women to step into the industry by saying that there are tremendous opportunities in cyber security industry. If one is a passionate about cyber security and technology, Gily encourages one to study it! She advises, “Also keep in mind that beyond technical roles, there are a vast number of other roles in other cybersecurity domains such as risk management, marketing, and sales as well. I think the biggest advice I can give is to just jump in.