Career Notes 12.17.23
Ep 179 | 12.17.23

Oren Koren: Crossing music and cybersecurity. [CPO]


Oren Koren: Hello, my name is Oren Koren, I'm the CPO and Co Founder at Veriti Security.

Oren Koren: I wanted to be a musician. Um, I've started to play violin at the age of four until today. The thing is, the first encounter I had with, uh, cybersecurity or any kind of relations to, um, network and computers was in high school, in the music high school, when I played in a band, when we went to the radio and we wanted to win, so I needed to do the research in the time of high school in parallel of playing and just pushing myself, um, ahead, it taught me a lot about how to look forward on data, because when you play the violin, you need to remember that it's not about the note you play now. It's about 10, 20, or 50, notes ahead because you want to listen to the music while you're playing. I believe the music helped me a bit with my career in cybersecurity

Oren Koren: I finished school when the first degree was music and then I wanted to move to computer science and math that I finished. When the question was what now because I like to do the music, I like to serve, and definitely like cybersecurity from the orphan side in a 200 unit but after doing 14 years of, uh, mathematics and, uh, computer science and the degrees and definitely doing cyber security, what would be the next phase, and it's not how can I combine, but what should I do now? And I think the journey was not only in the academy. The main journey was in the unit and in the army, it taught us a lot. They give us the opportunity to serve and to help, but they give us the opportunity to learn and to try and I think the journey just started when I joined the 200 unit and just started second when I finished the serving then, and then I moved to the industry.

Oren Koren: When I've served, um, after 14 years, I realized I need to go out to go out to the industry and I spoke with some of my commanders that are now big in the industry and they told me before you go to do your own venture, try to understand, try to understand customers, try to understand the field, just be patient and learn. So I moved from data on the team to checkpoint security and there when I was on the CTO team, think my main question on the day to day from my manager there in the CTO was what are the challenges that customers have that we can resolve and we should. Or what is the repetitive pattern you see.

Oren Koren: Now across my career my focus was on log analysis or threat analysis, that means consume lots of data. Now, there was amazing projects, amazing projects in all the ecosystem and the network in the end point and risk management and vulnerability assessment tool in all of those, but the challenge is still there and I try to solve in multiple ways and I think this path, um, across the years, um, brought me to the position I am today to be able to consume data from one hand, but the second and most important part to understand the challenge of the customer from a product management perspective, and that's when I realized I really like the product management position, because you understand the challenges the customers have, but then you try to find a solution for them.

Oren Koren: So one of my commanders in the army told me in the past, um, you can come to work, I want you to work, I want you to be the best you can and I will trust you first of all, and I will give you all the support that you need. That means if someone will try to do something that is the opposite that you think, I will support you. If you will need budget, I will support it and I will push, but I will just ask one thing, I will ask you to do an all in with me. I'll ask you to be fully transparent with the things that we need to improve, but also fully transparent with your work and push really, really hard forward. I started out in the army as just a state of mind, give everything and you'll get everything or anything that you want and that's what I saw also in checkpoints in my career, because I went there, you get everything if you give everything you can to the organization you are in or at. You want to get an impact that you want to put your impact in other places, you will get the ability to do that and we will allow it to you. So the idea is if I support you, if you trust me, if you trust the process and the company and the product, and you understand that you have a lot to go, it's not just let's go to work, it's really deep. That's the state of mind. I believe any organization with that state of mind, um, will have zero churn in employees, first of all and second, the most important part, you will be able to release a lot of good products and features and services because you will give your employees the ability to shine, they will give you everything that you want to be successful and the company to be successful.

Oren Koren: I think that if we will take a small example and a big example, that will, um, give us understanding, it's all about giving the audience or giving the employees or giving the customer to choose, because maybe you are not correct. You need to be humble enough to state I know what I'm doing, I know that, um, I have the vision, but maybe I don't really know, maybe I'm not really into the details to understand exactly what's going on behind the scenes and my employees and my other colleagues know better than me and it's an open discussion. It's something we need to do with our employees and we do that and even if someone is not agreeing with that, this is fine and all of us had that in our career. I think we have those kind of discussions of things that we do not agree on a monthly basis maybe on things that we think the product should go right or should go left. But if it's the strategy, they look at you and they want you to decide and tell them, we go right, it's on me, I own the company and I will take the decision. So I think it's more complex, but, um, it's divided between small to big.

Oren Koren: We will want to be remembered as someone that listened, that means if someone wanted to say something, if someone had a challenge, if someone want just to make a call and to state, I have a problem, I need your assistance, even if it's not in my professional to assist or not my position, I want you to remember the time I was there because it's not on the small features and small decisions, it's about not just the filling. It's about the idea of letting them know that you are there. And if they feel good with you personally, to be able just to call you and to say, I need your help, and they know you will, there will be no judgment, you will just help them with anything they need. I believe that's the best position you can be.