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December 1, 2020

Five Questions with… Ganesh Pai, CEO, Uptycs

Worst failure? "Hiding the fastest data storage in a video on demand pump"

By CBR Staff Writer

Every week we fire five questions at a leading figure in the enterprise technology world. This week, we’re pleased to be joined by Ganesh Pai, CEO of the innovative cybersecurity startup Uptycs.

Ganesh – What’s the Biggest Challenge for your Clients?

Measurable effectiveness of cybersecurity tools and a dire shortage of skilled professionals are some of the biggest challenges facing our clients and the cybersecurity domain at large. Despite a litany of solutions, these challenges are yet to be solved. As an example, in the fintech sector, one of our customers operating a large fleet of well over 100,000 servers needs to answer an audit-related question: “On how many servers was the password changed in the past 30 days?” While the question may sound simple, when operating at enterprise scale, few CISOs have the necessary systems to accurately answer this and other similar questions that lay the groundwork for an observability-driven security program.

To address these challenges, we took an innovative approach inspired by ad-decision, CRM, and business process analytics, where well-structured telemetry, streaming analytics, relational algebra (SQL), and statistics are combined to drive real-time decisions. We built a scalable system from the ground up for audit, compliance, and security of asset classes such as endpoints (MacOS and Windows), servers (Linux, Windows), containers (Docker, LXC, CRIO), and cloud providers (AWS, GCP, Azure). While our innovation and IP provide unprecedented scale and the visibility to answer virtually any question from our platform, a key way we’ve enabled our customers to address the challenges outlined earlier has been our ability to demonstrate effective threat detection and response. Additionally, our SQL-powered platform inspires confidence and helps mitigate the skills shortage as insights are one SQL JOIN away.

Technology that Excites You Most?

From a professional perspective, it is large-scale distributed systems that are purposed towards measurable outcomes – in other words how technology is used to solve a problem involving scale. I owe my career to an understanding of systems, network protocols, databases, and solving problems atscale. However, what excites me the most is applying this knowledge with a deep appreciation of the problem space to create a differentiated offering. In my career, I’ve been fortunate to be in the right company and apply the technologies that excite me to three different domains: Cybersecurity (currently), Content Delivery – CDNs, and call processing.

Greatest Success?

There are two notable accomplishments. I attribute these first to my wife, who has supported me throughout my career, and my two co-founders Mike Hluchyj and Uma Reddy, who have been close friends and partners for over 20 years. First notable accomplishment was during my tenure at a prior venture, architecting and taking part in  building  out a packet-based VOIP call network for the largest wireless service provider in the country. It is an enduring achievement that gives me immense satisfaction of impacting many individuals every day. Next is our current venture, while still early on, we’ve inspired confidence from the largest payments processor, the largest cable provider in the country, and the largest CRM company on the planet. At our early stage, having sophisticated customers with large-scale deployments in diverse sectors adds credence to my belief that we are well on our journey toward building a security analytics platform for decades to come.

Worst Failure?

Hiding the fastest data storage in a video on demand pump.

In Another Life, I’d Be…

A system administrator during the day with access to the latest computer and networking gear to evaluate. By night, I’d be owning and operating a dedicated world-wide whiskey bar where I can invite global instrumental and fusion bands to perform…..

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