Salt Security names first SVP, corporate and business development, to better coordinate partner strategy

Michael Porat comes in to further drive Salt’s growing API business by extending their strategic vendor partnerships and centralizing and enhancing their channel management.

Michael Porat, senior vice president, corporate and business development, Salt Security

API security vendor Salt Security has announced it has appointed Michael Porat to the new role of senior vice president, corporate and business development. The creation of this position marks a key integration in Salt’s Go-to-Market strategy. Porat will have two key roles. He will  direct alliances with Salt’s vendor technology partners to bring Salt’s API intelligence across the ecosystem. Porat, will also manage the Salt Security channel partner ecosystem, which had previously reported to their regions, and bring all of this into one house.

“Corporate development is acquisitions, and business development is ecosystem and partnerships,” Porat told ChannelBuzz. “We were actually debating what my title should be. If it’s a Go-to-Market motion, but not sales or marketing, it’s probably in my wheelhouse – anything that leverages a third party to drive new business. Where you feel the needle will move the most is where you spend your time. Good CROs are focused on a two to three quarter lens, and their focus is on that, but some Go-to-Markets take a much longer time horizon. I own our strategic partners and the channel to provide this.”

Before Porat’s arrival, there was no co-ordination of any of these activities.

“Our customer list has been very impressive, but Salt is still an early stage company, which means that we do a lot of work educating the market,” he said. “Prior to my coming this involved working in a lot of areas, which worked against a united strategy. The channel proper was part of their local regions, and was managed by sales there. The technology partnerships reported to the COO. When I was being interviewed, we discussed if this the right time to consolidate all that. We came to the conclusion that my team would include all these individuals who were reporting to different places, and put them under one roof, so we can have a different strategy moving forward.”

Porat said that the new strategy was dictated by both the evolution of the company and the API security market as a whole.

“A year or two ago, we would need to educate everyone on API security, why should they care about it, and how we are the best at executing it,” he said. “Now we see a lot more opportunities. As APIs have become a more common attack surface, it is much easier to talk about API security. Today we can arm partners on how to lead with API Security. A year ago, partners were forced to be more reactive to customers who had already made that decision, and those were few and far between. I see us becoming much more strategic to customers. They know they can’t ignore APIs because of attack surface. So our strategy is maturing in alignment with the market and the customer.”

The evolution of how APIs has used has also accelerated this trend.

“With CISOs, it comes down to priority and risk,” Porat said. “You have multiple layers of defense. Do they need additional layers that are focused in APIs. Earlier, when APIs were very straightforward in how they fit in the security framework, that question was valid. Today, these applications have exponentially grown. Teams connects to so many other accounts. And the control of the CISO over it all has been handed off to developers who add APIs continually. So the attack surface gets larger with less control, which means they need to shift from a reactive process oriented approach. That process is not unique to APIs. Endpoint security technology has also changed because of the increase in the number of threats and their complexity.”

Porat explained how Salt’s strategy going forward will take a proactive approach to resolving these issues.

“I like to look at it from a customer lens, where the amount of management of vendors increases significantly,” he said. “How does a company like Salt entrench itself?  You need to be part of an ecosystem – a meaningful part – and fit alongside partners and MSPs. My role is to do that, to make Salt something simple for the customer to add on so they can see value without adding extra complexity or cost into their infrastructure.”

Levering channel partners is critical to this.

“With the evolution of the market, we are probably shifting to a place where partners can lead in their market with APIs – where they invest and we invest in them,” Porat indicated. “A year ago, customers came to them. Now channels can lead with this and tell their story.”

Salt Security has achieved 200 sales and technical certifications through its Essential Partner Certification Program, announced earlier this year. Last month, announced the Salt Security Technology Ecosystem Partner [STEP], which is focused on technology alliance partners.

Porat brings more than 20 years of experience in business development strategy, starting out at Cisco, where he was head of corporate development for its data center business and then with Cohesity, where he was VP of strategy and business development, driving joint ventures, and leading a number of company acquisitions. His most recent role before joining Salt was  SVP of corporate and business development at, where he drove key alliances to solve critical issues and maximize customer value.