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Reflections on RSA 2024: Virtru's Leadership in Data-Centric Security


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    Attending RSA 2024 last week in San Francisco was simultaneously fascinating, daunting, and refreshing.  It also reinforced (yet again) five key lessons that we at Virtru have learned about building and scaling a successful data-centric security business.  Those lessons include:

    1. Engage the market with innovation that is supported by an open standard
    2. Find ways to surface open innovation within a horizontal platform
    3. Build and deliver easy-to-use apps that demonstrate the power of platform services
    4. Help organizations shift security architecture away from traditional perimeter-centric controls and closer to the data itself
    5. Foster industry awareness on the difference between defensive and offensive governance

    Innovate with Open Standards

    At Virtru, we have always believed in the power of open standards. Our innovative platform is powered by the Trusted Data Format (TDF), an open standard that binds granular policy and access controls directly to sensitive data objects and allows for seamless sharing of information without sacrificing security, privacy, or control. This open approach to innovation has enabled us to define our unique value in the context of many other vendors operating on adjacent parts of the data security control plane. By innovating with TDF and clearly articulating our differentiated offerings, we have established Virtru as a leader in the data-centric security space.

    Present a Powerful Platform

    At Virtru, we understand the transformative power of platform-level innovation. Our Virtru Data Security Platform exemplifies this by providing a comprehensive and adaptable foundation for data-centric security. Built on the open TDF standard, our platform enables organizations to protect their sensitive data as it flows across various environments and inevitably leaves the organization altogether when shared with third-party partners.  The platform's modular architecture and rich APIs facilitate the development of a wide range of innovative applications and integrations, empowering customers to address their unique security needs.

    By offering a single, unified platform that can be easily customized and extended, the Data Security Platform simplifies the complexity of protecting information and enables organizations to keep pace with the ever-evolving threat landscape. This platform-level approach not only provides a solid foundation for our portfolio of data-centric security solutions but also fosters a growing ecosystem of partners and developers who can build upon it to create new and innovative solutions. The Data Security Platform represents the epitome of platform-level innovation, driving the future of data security and empowering organizations to protect their most valuable assets with unparalleled flexibility and scalability.

    Deliver Simple Applications

    Virtru's portfolio of applications, or policy enforcement points, showcases the power and versatility of our underlying platform and directly addresses the real-world needs of our 7,000+ customers. Our flagship email protection application seamlessly integrates with popular email platforms like Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, enabling users to effortlessly secure sensitive email communications and maintain control over shared data.

    For organizations struggling to share very large and very sensitive files, Virtru Secure Share offers robust encryption, access controls, and auditing capabilities, ensuring that a sensitive file can be shared easily with others and still remain secure throughout its entire lifecycle.

    As businesses increasingly rely on SaaS applications, Virtru also extends our data-centric security approach to popular platforms like Zendesk and Confluence, allowing customers to share sensitive data within these workflows without compromising security or compliance.

    These applications, built on the foundation of our Data Security Platform, demonstrate the power of platform-level innovation by delivering tangible value to our customers. By addressing the specific security needs of email, file, and SaaS workflows, Virtru's portfolio of applications enables organizations to confidently share sensitive data, collaborate with external partners, and drive business value without sacrificing security or privacy. This combination of platform strength and application diversity sets Virtru apart in the market and underscores our commitment to providing comprehensive, customer-centric data security solutions.

    Make Security Architecture More Granular

    Traditionally, organizations have relied heavily on perimeter-centric security controls to protect their sensitive data. However, in today's increasingly connected and distributed world, these controls are no longer sufficient on their own. With the rise of cloud computing, mobile devices, and remote work, data now flows freely across multiple environments and beyond the confines of the corporate network. Moreover, the growing sophistication of cyber threats has rendered perimeter defenses increasingly vulnerable.

    As a result, it has become clear that security controls must evolve to become more granular and move closer to the data itself. By embedding protection directly into the data through encryption, access controls, and granular policies, organizations can ensure that their sensitive information remains secure regardless of where it travels or who it’s been shared with. This shift towards data-centric security is at the core of Virtru's approach and is essential for safeguarding data in the modern threat landscape.

    Play Offense, and Defense Too

    In the world of data-centric security, there are two distinct sides to the coin, each addressing critical aspects of protecting sensitive data.

    On one side, we have the defensive approach, exemplified by companies like Rubrik and other DSPM vendors like Immuta, Dig, Flow, and Cyera. Collectively, these companies are laser-focused on one thing: helping customers discover, classify, and safeguard their sensitive data from unintentional loss, unauthorized access, or breaches.

    On the other side of the coin, we have the offensive approach, which is dedicated to helping customers protect sensitive data that is intentionally shared with others to drive business value. By applying and enforcing granular policy on individual data objects, Virtru enables organizations to share sensitive data without sacrificing security, privacy, or control.

    The headlines we see every day are a constant reminder that defense alone does not win the game. Despite massive investments in defensive cyber security products, attacks and breaches have only increased in frequency and impact. By incorporating offensive measures like proactive data sharing with granular access controls applied, organizations can start putting points on the board from a cyber perspective. The “points” in this case are increased productivity, enhanced operational efficiency, and the safeguarding of critical information that must be shared with others.


    As a leader in data-centric security, Virtru is committed to helping organizations navigate the evolving cybersecurity landscape. By embracing these lessons and continuously innovating, we are well-positioned to drive the future of cyber security and empower our customers to share their most sensitive data without sacrificing security, control, or ownership.

    Matt Howard

    Matt Howard

    A proven executive and entrepreneur with over 25 years experience developing high-growth software companies, Matt serves as Virtu’s CMO and leads all aspects of the company’s go-to-market motion within the data protection and Zero Trust security ecosystems.

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