Founders Spotlight: Q&A with Dig Security Co-founder and CEO Dan Benjamin
Dig Security came out of stealth last week with the announcement of its seed funding, led by Team8. To mark the milestone, Team8’s Talia Zimmerman sat down with Dig Security Co-founder and CEO, Dan Benjamin, to find out more about Dig’s unique solution.
Dig Security’s tagline is “data security at the speed of cloud”. What problem does Dig solve?
During my time at Google and Microsoft, it became very clear to me that one of the biggest cloud security gaps is the protection of data. 40% of cloud resources are data assets, but it is the only asset class that doesn’t have a dedicated security solution in the cloud. Cloud uptake is growing fast – by the end of 2023, 50% of the world’s data is going to sit on public clouds.
Today, practitioners don’t have a clear idea of what data they have stored in the public cloud, how it’s being used and how to protect it. But you can’t just take an old-style security system that used to work on-prem and put it in the cloud. It won’t work because the speed of innovation of the cloud is not controlled by the companies using the cloud, it’s controlled by the cloud solution providers (CSPs). A company’s CSP can add new functionality that puts it at risk without anyone knowing about it. We work to level this playing field by continuously threat modeling any data interaction and alerting the organization about new risks for their data stores.
Dig was born in the cloud and built for data security in the cloud. It scales and adapts to the ephemeral nature of the cloud. Hence: “data security at the speed of the cloud”.
Who should use Dig Security?
Any company that has sensitive data in the cloud and wants a unified approach to data security across all the public clouds they store data in. Typically, our customers have a security team and 500+ employees. Some sectors that Dig is specifically relevant for are finance, healthcare, fintech, insurance, retail, HR and technology – but really any organization for which a data breach would be catastrophic to their business.
What is your approach to product development?
Simplicity is key for us because noise is the worst enemy of any cybersecurity team. This guides how we decide which new features to launch. For instance, if we see something that will add a lot of friction we won’t introduce it. If we think organizations wouldn’t know exactly what to do with an alert, we wouldn’t display it.
More philosophically, we don’t focus on what we can do with a piece of technology. We think it should be the other way around and that we should focus on the customer pain point and their need, and then solve that with technology. For us, technology is an enabler and the means to a solution.
You’re joined by two co-founders. How did you know you’d be a good match as a leadership team?
Gad Akuka (Dig CTO), Ido Azran (Dig VP R&D) and I knew each other from previous lives, and knew we were going to work together at some point. Even so, we deliberately spent a period of time “founder dating”. During this time we ideated, talked about how to extend the idea, talked with potential customers and got a better understanding of where our idea was right and wrong.
As part of this process we each completed and spent a full day discussing a five-page founder questionnaire. This made it clear that our values and ambitions for the company were aligned. Then, when the time was right, we left our jobs and started Dig.
What have been the highlights of the Dig journey so far?
One of the things we are most proud of is that in less than seven months we’ve built a team of 30 people. The team is senior, and around 80% are friends or former colleagues and employees of ours, so we’ve taken no bets on people. This has allowed us to move extremely fast. Within three months, we deployed our first product with a customer!
In addition, our solution consistently provides customers with complete visibility and control into their multi cloud data estate. Dig automatically finds any data asset (whether it is PaaS or IaaS), brings context into how it’s used and what it contains and lastly provides real time protection. For example, we recently deployed our product at a large public financial institution. After five minutes of installation, we noticed their financial reports were being copied daily to an external AWS account of a vendor they stopped working with three years ago.
What does success look like for you?
My co-founders and I knew that we didn’t want to build a small company. We’ve each had exits and built lifestyle businesses in the past but, given the size of the opportunity here, we wanted to make this count by tackling the gap in the market for data security in the cloud.
Beyond that, we want to build a company that brings value and solves a real problem, making security easier and simpler for our customers.