Tech Talks Daily

1650: A Chat With Award-Winning CSO Andy Ellis From YL Ventures
Tech Talks Daily / Neil Hughes
https://techblogwriter.libsyn.com/yl-ventures-2
YL Ventures funds and supports brilliant Israeli tech entrepreneurs from seed to lead. With headquarters in Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv, YL Ventures manages $260 million and specializes in cybersecurity. It accelerates the evolution of portfolio companies via strategic advice and U.S.-based operational execution, leveraging a powerful network of CISOs and global industry leaders.
Andy Ellis was recently named operating partner at YL Ventures, has been inducted into IDG's CSO Hall of Fame. The former CSO at Akamai Technologies will now be supporting YL Ventures' portfolio companies post-investment with product development, go-to-market strategies, and customer engagements.
In today's episode, Andy shares his story and insights from his career. We discuss why VC firms and investing in Israeli cybersecurity startups and why more CISOs are taking advisor/investor roles. I also learn what brings him to Israeli cybersecurity companies.

CISO Series: How Cisos Make it Worse for other CISOs

CISO Series / David Spark & Mike Johnson
https://cisoseries.com/how-cisos-make-it-worse-for-other-cisos/
(full transcript at link)

Cloud Security Podcast

Cloud Security Podcast / Ashish Rajan
https://www.linkedin.com/video/live/urn:li:ugcPost:6808374241436811265/

Cyber Ranch

Cyber Ranch / Allan Alford
Clever Hiring Practices w/ Andy Ellis
https://hackervalley.com/cyberranch/clever-hiring-practices-w-andy-ellis/

With us today is Andy Ellis, operating partner at YL Ventures, former Akamai CSO and newly inducted member of the CSO Hall of Fame. We're here to talk about nonstandard hiring practices and how Andy has built an amazing team using nonstandard approaches.
Andy began his career in cyber ("I remember back then, you know, we didn't call it cyber, but I think we've all given up and, and that's now the name for our career field.") as an Air Force ROTC cadet, spent 20 years at Akamai, and joined an advisor program at YL Ventures.
Andy found a solution that addresses hiring needs and the talent shortage, while also building a very clever and very innovative team.
  • For new roles, look and see if you have somebody who's almost senior that you can promote to do that job. And backfill the almost senior person instead. Try not to hire senior people, try to hire the most junior person you can get away with and promote everybody up the chain. The real trick is to figure out how your HR and finance teams are going to operate and play them off against each other.
  • Now that we have covered your promotion from within strategy, let's talk about hiring some folks for certain roles on the team that at a glance would make no sense at all for a CSO. And yet is really, really effective and repeatable.
  • Andy’s flagship is hiring librarians. There is an entire career field dedicated to managing libraries and learning technical language to be able to do that.
  • Everyone is in the business of publishing a report about their data, right? This is just taking technical data and technical jargon and making it consumable to people who've never seen this data before. There's an entire industry that does that. We call it journalism. So, we hire journalists to come in and be those storytellers.
  • Hire teachers. Put a teacher in a position and to learn how deep do they need to go on a daily basis, and then make sure they get one level deeper. Because you're always going to have problems if you teach exactly to your domain knowledge. So, make sure your domain knowledge is always little bit deeper than whatever your job requires which is usually going to be sufficient to keep you out of trouble.
To wrap the show up, Allan asks, “Why aren't the rest of us catching on because this is some amazing stuff that every single hiring manager in cyber could benefit from.”
According to Andy, the simple answer is it's expensive, and it takes a lot of time to do right.
Allan asks, “What keeps you going in cyber?” Andy answers, “I've always seen myself as improving the systems that I walk through, that when I encounter a system, I want to tweak it and figure out what makes it work and make it work better."
Key Takeaways
1:24 Andy shares his background and how he got to cyber
3:12 Working for a venture capital firm
7:12 Hiring and building a team
12:26 The abnormal hires that just make sense
15:46 Clever role adjustments
17:10 More nonstandard hires
19:03 Confused? Whose confusion is it?
21:02 The academy
24:42 Putting a teacher in
25:21 Budget technique
27:09 Why isn’t everyone hiring this way?
28:30 What keeps you going in cyber?

Off the Record

Off the Record / Adam Janofsky
Ep 46: When Pipelines Run Dry
Levi and Adam discuss the latest news on the Colonial Pipeline attack, and what the future of ransomware might look like. Andy Ellis, the former CSO of Akamai, joins later in the episode to talk about advising and investing in cybersecurity companies.
https://the-record.captivate.fm/episode/when-pipelines-run-dry

techspective

TechSpective
Andy Ellis Shares Insights on Leadership (and DC Comics)
https://techspective.net/2021/05/10/andy-ellis-shares-insights-on-leadership-and-dc-comics/

Cyber Professional Podcast

Cyber Pro Podcast
https://youtu.be/vUmbbIaafHA
Andy shares his thoughts and experience with Jeff Chao on the role of Security Leadership

Decipher

Decipher
Andy Ellis returns
https://duo.com/decipher/decipher-podcast-andy-ellis-returns

Andy Ellis, CSO of Akamai, joins Dennis Fisher to discuss the importance of setting priorities, how to assess your strengths and weaknesses as an organization, and the NFL draft.

Recorded Future

Recorded Future/Cyberwire (Dave Bittner)
An Ability to Execute and a Fantastic Amount of Luck
https://www.recordedfuture.com/podcast-episode-187/

Our guest this week is Andy Ellis, chief security officer of Akamai Technologies. He shares the professional journey that led him to Akamai, along with his recollections of the early days of online data sharing when bandwidth was expensive and pipes were small, and the uncertainty of being part of an ambitious internet startup. We’ll learn about his management style, the importance of a company culture built on trust and communication, and, of course, we’ll get Andy’s take on threat intelligence.

Plaintext Podcast

Duo / Plaintext Podcast
Plaintext Podcast Ep. 4 Featuring Akamai CSO Andy Ellis
https://duo.com/blog/plaintext-podcast-ep-4

Welcome back to the Plaintext Podcast with your host Dave Lewis, Global Advisory CISO for Duo Security, now part of Cisco.

In this installment, I have the honour of interviewing friend and former colleague Andy Ellis, CSO of my previous employer, Akamai.


In this episode, Ellis and I chat about his career path, how to adjust to a remote (or distributed) work life and advice for security pros, or those who are considering a career in information security.