Aqua Security CEO lays out vision and strategic plan for Canada

Canada has become a target market for Aqua Security, whose CEO, Dror Davidoff, was in town last week to talk with Canadian customers and partners.

Aqua Security CEO Dror Davidoff

Last week, Israeli-based Aqua Security’s CEO, Dror Davidoff, was at the Collision event in Toronto to meet with partners and customers. Davidoff delineated what makes Aqua unique in the market, why he thinks they are extremely well positioned to meet today’s cloud security challenges, and why Aqua thinks that Canada is a particularly strong market for them.

“The cloud introduced an opportunity to do security better, to connect all these different siloes that were very separate,” Davidoff told ChannelBuzz. “The cloud by itself has created the DevOps economy. If we can do the same thing around security, we will have better security in the cloud.”

Even though there are approximately 43,000 security companies globally, Davidoff said that this job is not being done well.

“I met the CISOs of three top 3 banks,” he indicated. “On average, they have 560 different security products and 18 different vendors. Their goal was to reduce those numbers by a quarter. Not much work has been done on that in the last three years, however, so there remains colossal management expenses for all these tools, and connecting them.”

Davidoff noted that there are 300 security companies in Israel alone, of whom between 10-15% have an outcome in a year – meaning that they either get acquired or go out of business.

“There are many different sub-categories  – 7 or 8 – and now cloud security has become the most important one,” he said. “Seven years ago, many organizations thought they could just take what they have on-prem and lift and shift to the cloud. The reality isn’t like that, and a lot of operational changes were required.”

Davidoff explained that when CISOs think of cloud security, there are two very big blocks to address.

“One is SASE for east-west traffic, and the other one is to secure application in the cloud,” he said. “CNAPP looks at the complete lifecycle. Many small companies did small components of that, and want to bring CNAPP and cloud together.

“For control, you need to see it and stop it. We do that by mapping them, on a DevSecOps matrix with See it and Stop it on the side, and Dev and Cloud at the top. With DevSecOps, supply chain security controls see the picture and regulate what is allowed in, and can then stop it as well.  For the Cloud, Cloud Security Posture Management and Kubernetes Control let you see it, and CWPP stops it in the cloud. CISOs now realize that they can’t have separate tools for each. They want one platform.”

Davidoff emphasized that Aqua is one of only a few companies who can provide all this.

“This is the vision that Aqua created three years ago,” he said. “Other than Aqua, no other player does all of that. There will be competition. We just need to be the best. The only other one who tries something like this is Palo Alto Networks, but they still have nine disparate products, while we add to our own platform.”

Aqua started out at the top of the market, with Davidoff stressed that their true market is much broader than that.

“Any company that is serious about moving to the cloud and doing large scale business is a good franchise for us, even if that franchise is a lot of small stores,” he said. “Starbucks is a big company made up of a lot of small stores, and a customer. In the short term though, the emphasis is on banks, big retail, and government, because they are most concerned about security. Many organizations have still just tipped their toes in the cloud.”

Jeannette Lee Heung, Senior Director, Global Channel and Alliances at Aqua

Davidoff made the trip to Toronto at the Collision event to meet with Canadian partners and customers.

“With partners, we are invested in many Go-to-Markets, including SIs like EY and Deloitte, some are more advanced in this area but all of whom are very interested,” he stated. “Then there are the cloud providers themselves, such as AWS, Azure, Google, and Oracle, and the security resellers.”

“Those Big SI partners have become a part of our DNA,” said Jeannette Lee Heung, Senior Director, Global Channel and Alliances at Aqua. “They understand the customers’ need. We aren’t a transactional product. The value SIs bring is key to solving problems.

“We are sticking to simplicity when it comes to support partners, Lee Heung added. “The more we can provide easy access to partners is the key to our success.” This simplicity was core to Aqua’s new Aqua Advantage Partner Program, launched in late 2022.

In Canada, significant steps have been taken to improve Aqua’s position in the market.

Serge Bertini, Country Manager for Canada at Aqua

“We do a lot of education,” said Serge Bertini, Country Manager for Canada at Aqua. “We need to explain the art of the possible. Customers need to know what they need to do. 100% of our Canadian business is through the channel. Systems integrators are especially important here to explain the business and use cases. This ecosystem helps us take the customer to the next level. Our success is our partners’ success.

“I’ve been doing this for 35 years. We need to protect our property intellectual assets,” Bertini continued. “We need to keep up with the tools they are using. We need to talk about what good security hygiene looks like. Because I’ve been doing this for so long, the customer trusts me. Anyone can sell one product one day, but you get measured by how you take care of your customers.”