The first in our series featuring women in tech at Source Defense is my interview with Yehudit Baum, the CFO at Source Defense. She spoke about her professional journey and experience working in the cybersecurity industry.
Before Source Defense, Yehudit was part of JVP Venture Capital team and was the CFO of their cyber incubator.
Tell me how you got into cybersecurity
A few years ago while I was working at JVP, cybersecurity became very hot and the JVP team had a vision to bring cybersecurity to a city with almost no prior technology at all– Be’er Sheva. We decided to open an incubator and invest in the brightest cyber companies we could find. As the CFO of the incubator, I was excited to be part of something new: a new city, expanding a new field all in an up and coming incubator. There, I learned that cybersecurity is the board term for many aspects of a field that was constantly growing and evolving. Each subset of cybersecurity brought different challenges which resulted in the need for different solutions and teams of experts. Working in the incubator I was exposed to a few of those cybersecurity areas and learned the value in the differences that they brought to our world. It was there where I met the co-founders of Source Defense. I was impressed with the Source Defense offering as it was so new and innovative and yet the need seemed so obvious (I remember asking myself how no one had thought about this before). In addition, I was drawn to their vision of building a company with a great atmosphere; a place that employees would truly love and feel passionate about what they were doing to help improve website security.
What do you love about your job?
I love the fact that things are dynamic. Every day brings new challenges and no day is similar to the one before. I am surrounded by very interesting men and women who are smart, diverse, and highly motivated to succeed. In my tenure here, I’ve seen the company grow from four employees, an idea and enthusiasm and transform to the mature company with overflowing potential and milestone success markers that we have achieved today. We have happy customers and happy employees around the world – and that’s something to be proud of.
What is the most challenging?
The thing that makes me love my job the most also makes it the most difficult. The ever changing dynamic can be very challenging. The nature of a startup means we have to be flexible and quick to pivot at any given notice. We have to meet the demands of the board, our customers, all-the-while planning for the future of our company and taking care of our employees. I take responsibility in making sure I’m quick to notice things we might need to change or improve upon as time is valuable at our stage in building a company.
Who was one of your biggest mentors?
Avigail Marton was an amazing woman I met at the beginning of my career. We worked together for a few years. She was my role model as a manager and as a person. She is smart, brave, knows to plan things in advance and know how to make things happen. In certain situations, I still find myself thinking what she would do. She helped to shape who I am today.
Yoav Tzruya, General Partner at JVP was heading the JVP cyber Lab when I first began to work with him. He is an expert in the cybersecurity field, and I learned from him a lot. Not many people have the exposure to a fast-paced environment that an incubator can bring, and I truly believe it helped give me a broader understanding of all aspects of a business.
Cybersecurity is constantly evolving. How has the industry changed throughout your career?
With the growth in digitalization, cybersecurity has evolved and grown infinitely since it’s inception. Until a few years ago, almost every good idea received support from all types of investors. Today, the market has grown to have many players in the industry.
The competition is not only about a good idea but also about the maturity of the solution and its performance. Customers have high expectations of these solutions and the companies that create them – ease of implementation and solving a key business need are two demands that keep these founders on their toes.
What advice would you give to someone entering the cybersecurity field today?
Run fast because it’s easy to get behind!
If you could do one thing outside of work for fun, what would you be doing?
I’d love to rent a RV and travel around the world with my family.