Skip to content

Entrepreneurship ‘crucial’ to combatting future cyberattacks

For Udi Mokady, chairman and CEO of CyberArk, the notion that a major security breach won’t personally affect us is precisely why hackers have been so successful at stealing our information. As he puts it, “It’s what keeps us in this vicious attack cycle.” Photo by iStock.

“The greatest threat to cybersecurity is complacency,” according Udi Mokady, the chairman and CEO of CyberArk, the information security company.

For him, the notion that a major security breach won’t personally affect us is precisely why hackers have been so successful at stealing our information. As he puts it, “It’s what keeps us in this vicious attack cycle.”

Mokady—who co-founded CyberArk in Israel in 1999—believes that sharp-minded entrepreneurs will be crucial to stemming future cyberattacks at home, in the office, and at government agencies. “Entrepreneurship,” he explains, “is critical in driving the innovation needed to stay a step ahead of this very real human adversary.”

Mokady will share his thoughts on cybersecurity and entrepreneurship on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Room 102 of Northeastern’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex. He will be joined by two Northeastern faculty members— Bob Lentz, executive professor of entrepreneurship and innovation, and John Manferdelli, executive director of the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute—for an hourlong roundtable talk titled “CyberSpeaks: From Tech Startup to Industry Giant.”

“Entrepreneurship is critical in driving the innovation needed to stay a step ahead of this very real human adversary.”

Udi Mokady chairman and CEO of CyberArk

The event was organized by Northeastern’s chapter of the TAMID Group, which focuses on developing undergraduate students’ professional skills through hands-on education programs and consulting experience with some of Israel’s most innovative startups. The student organization—whose fellowship program enables select members to participate in an experiential summer internship in Tel Aviv—will take over Northeastern’s Snapchat account on Thursday, including during the panel discussion.

“Every panelist is a heavy-hitter,” says David Iken, DMSB’19, president of the university’s chapter of the TAMID Group. “We really think this will be an interesting and insightful conversation for students to learn about what the whole cybersecurity industry is like.”

Benjamin Novak, DMSB’21, the group’s vice president of operations, will moderate the discussion. The talk will focus on a range of topics, covering everything from the Equifax hack to cryptocurrency like Bitcoin to CyberArk’s journey from startup to publicly traded company.

According to Lentz, the cybersecurity field is rife with opportunity for innovative students who want to develop new tools to combat hackers and other cybercriminals. “There’s been a lot of venture capital thrown into security,” he says. “There’s a lot of activity, which means there’s a lot of jobs.”

For companies everywhere, cybersecurity is a top priority. As chairman of the board of directors of Monotype Imaging, a leading provider of typefaces and technology for creative applications and consumer devices, Lentz would know. “We spend a lot of money on risk mitigation,” he explains. “But the challenge is that the crooks are oftentimes better than the protectors.”