He said he decided to leave Intel after taking a sabbatical last summer and thinking about how he could have a bigger impact on the understanding of cyber-risk, mitigation and management.
At a startup, he said, with “every decision and action, you can immediately see the visible impacts of that…I’ve never been in a smaller company or startup.”
Mr. Harkins knew Cylance founder and Chief Executive Stuart McClure since the latter’s previous company Foundstone was acquired by McAfee, which in turn was acquired by Intel. Mr. McClure stuck in Mr. Harkins’ mind, he said, because of a book Mr. McClure wrote that predicted more than a decade ago the tech risk of cybersecurity.
“I think the perfect storm of risk has hit, with the vulnerability cycle and the malware we’re seeing on devices,” Mr. Harkins said.
He also chose Cylance, whose technology uses mathematical models and machine learning to block bad or unknown items before they execute their payloads, because the technology is effective enough to lower both risks and security costs, he said. It also doesn’t penalize users by hogging processor and memory resources like some other malware prevention technologies he has seen.
Disclosure: I work for Intel Security.