Ceos / Cybersecurity / Women in tech

Bicoastal bot detection company Distil Networks names new CEO

Tiffany Olson Jones will be based at the company's Arlington office.

Employees at Distil's Arlington office. (Courtesy photo)

Distil Networks, a cybersecurity company that focuses on identifying and stopping increasingly advanced bots, marked Cybersecrity Awareness Month by announcing in a press release on October 11 that Tiffany Olson Jones will be the company’s new CEO. Olson Jones has more than 15 years in the cybersecurity business, and will replace the former CEO of the company,  Rami Essaid. He will retain a position as Chief Product and Strategy Officer, and also as the chairman of the Board of Directors.

Olson Jones will be based at the company’s office in Arlington, Va. SHe has previous experience at FireEye, iSIGHT (which was acquired by FireEye) and Symantec. She said she was attracted to Distil in part because it is a startup, and she hopes to help the company grow.

“I am really excited to return to a startup environment like I had been at iSIGHT,” she said. “I joined Distil because I’ve been itching to help grow and scale something again, so taking the company through its next level of growth is very exciting.”

However, Olson Jones is also aware that the security features that Distil provides will still be of paramount importance.

“Capturing more of the bot detection and mitigation market will be a big focus,” she said. “Automated threats are only getting more sophisticated at nefarious things like account take overs, content/price scraping, and application denial of service attacks.”

Although Distil Networks is headquartered in San Francisco, the company was founded in Arlington and that office provides a sizable D.C.–area presence. The company says it offers “the only accurate way to defend websites, mobile apps and APIs against malicious bots,” according to their press release.  The company states on its website that only 54 percent of web traffic originates from humans, making their task of monitoring all bots, good and bad as well as human traffic a bit intimidating.

However, Distil is able to keep track of malicious bot attacks on its customers by developing a distinct profile of the companies that it works with and then monitoring deviations. It also applies machine learning to better detect threats.  It seems to be effective, as it works with important companies such as Lufthansa, Verizon, Yelp and Neiman Marcus.

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