Horangi

When people think of cybersecurity, they too often think of a single app or program that can be downloaded to protect against, say, malware. Singapore-based cybersecurity startup Horangi is out to change all that.

“Cybersecurity is very difficult to understand and not very many people know what it means to be secure,” Horangi CTO and Co-Founder Lee Sult explains, adding that many cybersecurity companies tend to focus on a very specific, narrow field. “[They have] one single point of defense, or they get little bit outside of that channel and they do one or two other things,” he says. “In my opinion, that’s not the way to handle security.”

So what is the right approach? According to Sult, the key to stopping bad actors online is rooted in the idea that a cybersecurity company needs to diversify and approach the challenge on multiple levels. Horangi does this by offering an integrated platform that offers a suite of products, all of which are designed to “collect information, analyze across the platform for a
holistic view, and then just simplify the display of [that information].”

And Sult should know. He and his co-founder Paul Hadjy both have a long history of working in cybersecurity. Both are veterans of the multi-billion dollar data analytics company Palantir, where Hadjy focused on anti-money laundering in Singapore and Sult was focused on cybersecurity. Both noticed the region lacked serious competition in the field, so when they decided to start Horangi, they knew Singapore was the place to do it.

Horangi

Once in business, one of the first issues Hadjy and Sult set out to tackle was changing their clients’ mindset about cybersecurity from the start.

“One of the fallacies that you see in cybersecurity across the world is [asking] ‘How do I protect against this?’” Sult explains. “The answer is you don’t. How do you protect against bank robbery? You don’t. You put as many protections as you can in place.”

“If protection strategies ever worked in the history of man, we wouldn’t have fire departments and insurance wouldn’t be a business,” he says. “We would just protect against loss. So when you think about what cyber security is and how you solve this as a problem, obviously it’s risk mitigation, but that’s a bit of an oversimplification.”

In order to meet a client’s cybersecurity needs, Horangi’s team first gets to know them, honing in on their specific issues and tailoring their approach to the client. “We have to understand what your business needs and your business problem is,” he says. “There’s no point in security if we’re not accomplishing your business goals.”

While the field of cybersecurity is new, the principles on which it is based go back centuries, and an understanding of history is key to Sult and Horangi’s approach.

“Folks are trying to make cybersecurity a technical problem and it is not a technical problem—humans have been fighting each other and conducting adversarial operations for a long, long time,” says Sult. “The technology is the environment. All we have to do is apply the same principles to cybersecurity that we do to everything else and this is how you conquer it.”

On that front, Sult is confident that he and his team have what it takes to use their unique approach and wealth of expertise to benefit clients, making them safer and educating them at the same time.

“Horangi is like the culmination of my life’s work in cybersecurity,” Sult says candidly. “I saw the opportunity, I seized it, and we executed.”

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