Tenable's new hire reflects need for federal focus

Tenable Network Security last week tapped Darron Makrokanis to head up the company’s new federal sales division meant to meet the cybersecurity needs of federal customers.

Though most of the company’s work is commercial—80 percent—Tenable’s government work is steadily increasing, and it is that size and scale that made it clear that the time is now to debut a dedicated federal sales division, said Tenable president and chief operating officer, Jack Huffard.

The Columbia, Md., company’s primary focus is selling cybersecurity software to medium and large enterprises, which includes many government agencies. In fact, Huffard said, Tenable is deployed in every single government department, just in varying degrees of involvement.

The company is big into the continuous network monitoring space and helps its customers not only perform assessments of their networks but also look into the network holistically and get a sense of its health. One of the company’s offerings—SecurityCenter Continuous View—allows its customers to do threat hunting instead of waiting around until a threat has been detected, at which point it is often too late to protect the network.

For a while, one sales leader was enough to cover both the company’s commercial business and its federal business, but with the way the federal business has grown, Huffard and other members of the Tenable leadership team decided it was time to carve it out into its own division.

“Whenever you break things up, you give them focus. You can go a lot deeper,” Huffard said. “We want to make sure we are listening really well to our customers and moving in the rhythm that they need from a buying perspective.” Launching the federal sales division accomplishes this goal.

“There are opportunities for us to build some deeper relationships with those customers that we are not as deployed with, and for us to take those customers that are we are broadly deployed with and help them with additional use cases,” Huffard said, mentioning compliance frameworks and threat hunting.

The company is also looking to deepen its relationship with some of the big systems integrators and has brought on someone under Makrokanis to help with that, Huffard added.

Going forward, Huffard said, the goal is to engage the customers it has and help them utilize some of the other capabilities that Tenable has that they may not be aware of in order to accomplish their missions.

About the Author

Mark Hoover is a senior staff writer with Washington Technology. You can contact him at, or connect with him on Twitter at @mhooverWT.

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