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Cylance Tech Chief Leaves to Helm Cyber Startup

Awake CEO Rahul Kashyap, who previously served as tech chief at cybersecurity firm Cylance.Awake CEO Rahul Kashyap, who previously served as tech chief at cybersecurity firm Cylance.
Awake CEO Rahul Kashyap, who previously served as tech chief at cybersecurity firm Cylance.

Rahul Kashyap, chief technology officer of Cylance, has left the cybersecurity firm to join Awake Security as CEO.

Cylance, founded in 2012, is often talked about as a likely candidate for an initial public offering in the next year or so. Four-year-old Awake, on the other hand, is at a much earlier stage of development, having received its first mentions in the business press only a year ago. (The startup had been in so-called stealth mode prior.)

“What I really enjoy is taking on company at this stage and taking them big,” Kashyap told Fortune on a call. “Awake is at that juncture.”

Kashyap is set to take over the CEO role from Michael Callahan, who incubated Awake as an entrepreneur in residence at the venture capital firm Greylock Partners. Callahan will shift to a more technical role at the startup—title to be determined—and he will remain on the board of directors, said Asheem Chandna, an Awake investor and board member and Greylock partner.

Awake is tackling a segment of the cybersecurity market known as network traffic analysis. The firm’s product records and parses the flow of data packets into and out of a corporate network, helping security analysts to spot anomalies and take action when something looks amiss.

Awake’s product sits on top of security event-logging software, as offered by the likes of Splunk and IBM, and analysts can use the add-on to get a “360 degree view” of their networks, Chandna says. The tech is designed to spot issues—like, maybe that new contractor’s laptop shouldn’t be leaking oodles of valuable trade secrets to a foreign server overnight?—and to resolve them.

“It’s like a movie playing on your network,” Chandna said. “You can watch every scene in full fidelity, real-time, and over long periods, then over that there’s a sophisticated machine learning-AI layer that’s utilized for visualization, detection, and response.”

In the late aughts, Kashyap ran vulnerability research at McAfee. Following that, he joined Bromium, another cybersecurity firm, where he served as chief security architect. He later cofounded E8 Security, a cybersecurity startup bought by VMware for an undisclosed sum this year, before joining Cylance, where he rose through the ranks to become tech chief.

(Cylance’s former tech chief, Glenn Chisholm, left the firm last year to cofound another cybersecurity startup, Obsidian Security.)

Following his departure, Kashyap is set to join Cylance’s board of advisers.

Awake has raised $31.2 million to date from investors such as Greylock and Bain Capital Ventures.

“This is the perfect time for Rahul to join the team,” said Enrique Salem, an Awake investor, Bain Capital Ventures managing director, and ex-Symantec CEO, in a note to Fortune. “His experience leading teams during times of rapid growth is an ideal fit for Awake as it continues to expand and scale.”

Awake has about 40 employees and is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.