164. The Cat and Mouse Game of Cyber Security — Israel, CISOs, and GDPR (Yoav Leitersdorf)

Yoav Leitersdorf Full Ratchet: The 'Softbank Effect', Financial Discipline and the Interworkings of a Top Seed Investment Firm

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Yoav Leitersdorf of YL Ventures joins Nick to discuss The Cat and Mouse Game of Cyber Security — Israel, CISOs, and GDPR. In this episode, we cover:

  • How the emergence of new technologies have changed cybersecurity
  • The framework to think about cybersecurity from a VC perspective
  • Where innovation in cybersecurity stems from and how VCs impact this innovation.
  • Industries that have the most volume of devices and the most threatened by breaches
  • The purchase drivers for CSOs/CISOs today and how they determine ROI
  • The impact of GDPR on the cyber industry
  • Asset-centric vs threat-centric approaches toward information security
  • The cybersecurity Cat and Mouse analogy
  • The biggest misconception of cybersecurity


Guest Links:

Quick Takeaways:

  1. YL Ventures is the only seed stage focused VC investing in Israel and based in SF.
  2. YL uses a special research platform to track activity in Israel and search for potential investments.
  3. The cybersecurity industry is still emerging and fueled by fear, uncertainty, and doubt. With an ever-present threat of breaches, security budgets perpetually increase.
  4. VC investment opportunities are either a) Blue Ocean or b) existing enterprise. Blue Ocean opportunities include startups pursuing solutions for advanced fields, such as autonomous cars. Existing enterprise opportunities assist CISOs (Chief Information Securities Officers) with efficiency, automation, and organization.
  5. The majority of improvements in cybersecurity come from startups– they are more efficient in driving progress than traditional corporations.
  6. Strong Israeli intelligence backgrounds make for strong startup founder profiles. YL openly critiques founders and suggests different solutions. YLโ€™s EIR program allows founders to work within their offices, allowing access to customers and research.
  7. The medical device industry has the most potential for startup growth. Many IOT medical devices are run by antiquated software and lack basic encryption. Now every large hospital has a CISO.
  8. Cybersecurity is now a board discussion- they can quantify and understand the potential losses from a cyber-attack. ROI is determined by how many analysts an automated system can replace.
  9. GDPR in Europe creates pressure for all multinational companies to improve their cybersecurity– expanding the sector.
  10. Cybersecurity threats impact more than just one singular asset. Itโ€™s important to have a combined focus on asset and threat-centric security.
  11. The field of cybersecurity is a cat and mouse game, yet the gap is increasing. Hackers advance in sophistication, leading to more R&D. There will always be a demand for improved, more robust security resources.
  12. Common investors are becoming wary of cyber investing, due to saturation. Expert investors see this as an opportunity– they can choose the best startups and founders from a large pool of options.