“Working in the cybersecurity industry means you’re one of the good guys”
Morphisec’s offering prevents the next cyberattack before it occurs, says VP of Product Netta Schmeidler, adding that like her, “more women are joining the industry, but it still isn’t enough”
Yafit Ovadia | 15:01 20.08.2021
“When people think of the cybersecurity industry, they often picture a guy in a hoodie hidden behind a computer screen, but that isn’t true anymore. People in the industry look like us, there are more and more women,” said Netta Schmeidler, who serves as VP of Product at Morphisec, in an interview with CTech. “We aren’t out there looking for a cure for Alzheimer’s, but we do prevent and protect the world against cyberattacks. Hackers attack power stations, public transportation lines, hospitals, and even Covid-19 research labs. When you work in the cybersecurity industry, you’re working for good, you’re one of the good guys or girls,” she quipped. Morphisec is based out of the Gav-Yam Negev Park, a hotbed of Israeli high tech in the southern Negev region, and has its sales and marketing teams located in Boston. Its cyber offering prevents cyberattacks at endpoints - such as laptops or desktops - whether at the office or at home, virtual or physical, on the cloud or servers, and is designed for enterprises who neither have sufficient funds nor manpower to purchase costly solutions or manage such attacks.
While some attackers design their own attack chains, others purchase or obtain such software illegally. In a disturbing twist, some viruses or malware can even lie dormant on a machine for years, and are only becoming more sophisticated in the post-Covid-19 era. Some attackers even study a machine or operating system’s vulnerabilities and weaknesses prior to the attack. “They know exactly what type of Windows system you’re using, what type of Microsoft Word program. When an attacker writes an attack, there are a set of assumptions for it to work, but we invalidate them. Just like the Louvre layout suddenly changed, we do the same thing with the operating system,” she explained. Morphisec sells its solution exclusively to enterprises who have smaller security teams that cannot run complex software or to those that want to be more prudent or efficient with the way they work. So far, the company has completed a Series C round of $31 million in March 2021, placing the total amount of funds it has raised at $51.5 million. Jerusalem Venture Partners is its main investor, and Orange Ventures, Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, OurCrowd, Evolution Equity Partners, General Electric Ventures, and others have also invested in the startup. Women want to work for a higher purpose A leading female figure in the industry, Schmeidler was listed as one of the top ten female experts in the cyber industry in 2021 by Black Hat USA, a major computer and cybersecurity conference that brings together professionals from across the industry. While more women are entering the cyber field and the trend appears to be growing, it isn’t enough, she noted. “In 2017, that number stood at 11%, but today it’s only 24% (including those who work on IT teams) in the U.S. It’s not bad, but it’s not good either. The numbers aren’t rising. I think that cyber and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are great career paths for women. I talk to girls in middle and high schools about what they're looking for in a job, and they tell me that they want to do good. They want to do something they’re proud of, want to be creative, and make a positive impact,” Schmeidler said.