Press release

Sounil Yu of Bank of America joins YL Ventures as CISO-in-Residence

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YL Ventures, the prominent seed-stage Silicon Valley venture capital firm investing in Israeli cybersecurity startups, today announced that Sounil Yu, former Chief Security Scientist at Bank of America, will join the YL Ventures team as its full-time CISO (Chief Information Security Officer)-in-Residence.

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Sounil Yu former BofA Chief Security Scientist joins YL Ventures as CISO-in-Residence (Photo: Business Wire)

Sounil Yu former BofA Chief Security Scientist joins YL Ventures as CISO-in-Residence (Photo: Business Wire)

Sounil’s world-class cybersecurity expertise further enriches YL Ventures’ ability to provide entrepreneurs – pre- and post-investment – first-hand insights into product development, customer needs and how global enterprises evaluate cybersecurity vendors and their solutions.

Prior to joining YL Ventures, Sounil spent seven years at Bank of America, most recently as their Chief Security Scientist, leading a cross-functional team focused on driving cybersecurity innovation by leveraging unconventional thinking and alternative approaches to address key challenges in cybersecurity.

Sounil is the creator of the influential Cyber Defense Matrix, a popular tool for organizing, evaluating and discovering security capabilities and solutions, and the inventor of the DIE Resiliency Framework which has shaped the views of the overall security ecosystem. In a career spanning more than three decades, he has enjoyed productive tenures supporting Fortune 100 firms and national security organizations. Sounil is a consummate cybersecurity professional, with 22 granted patents encompassing threat modeling, intrusion monitoring, endpoint security, attribution and other cybersecurity and IT disciplines.

Sounil’s knowledge, experience, industry-wide reputation and considerable network will help him vet investment candidates and advise start-up founders. “I’m eager to be working with Israeli entrepreneurs, especially those that operate on the frontlines of cybersecurity. I also hope to put the Cyber Defense Matrix to the test to gauge how it can help them discover capability gaps in the market, reveal common patterns and develop solutions to fill those gaps.”

In a natural progression from his current participation in the YL Ventures’ Venture Advisory Board (consisting of 80+ cybersecurity experts and executives from global enterprises), as CISO-in-Residence, Sounil will continue to foster the success of early-stage portfolio companies. Moreover, he will work directly with entrepreneurs pre- and post-investment, supporting their ideation processes, highlighting green field market opportunities, validating their value propositions, refining go-to-market strategies and optimizing their early-stage success in closing paying customers.

“Security teams have continuously evolving needs that require ingenuity and the best minds to develop elegant solutions,” commented Sounil. “YL Ventures attracts some of the most brilliant minds from the Israeli tech community and directs their talent and energy towards addressing these needs. YL Ventures’ portfolio is well known for bringing forward-thinking deep technology solutions with lasting value to enterprise customers,” he added.

“Sounil will play a key role in our mission to support the cybersecurity industry’s most brilliant entrepreneurs and foster game-changing cybersecurity startups,” noted YL Ventures Managing Partner, Yoav Leitersdorf. “Sounil’s unique vision, impressive stature and unparalleled track record in cybersecurity will amplify our team’s multi-disciplinary expertise dedicated to making portfolio companies competitive and valuable.”

Sounil replaces Roger Hale in the CISO-in-Residence role, who is exiting YL Ventures to join BigID. Roger will continue supporting YL Ventures as a Venture Advisor.

About YL Ventures

YL Ventures funds and supports brilliant Israeli tech entrepreneurs from seed to lead. With headquarters in Silicon Valley and satellite offices in Tel Aviv, YL Ventures manages $270 million and specializes in cybersecurity. YL Ventures accelerates the evolution of portfolio companies via strategic advice and U.S.-based operational execution, leveraging a powerful network of CISOs and global industry leaders. The firm’s track record includes successful, high-profile portfolio company acquisitions by major corporations including Palo Alto Networks, Microsoft, CA and Proofpoint. Learn more at

Heading the fund is Silicon Valley-based Managing Partner Yoav Andrew Leitersdorf, a serial entrepreneur and early-stage investor for over 25 years. Yoav works alongside Partner John Brennan in the U.S., while Partner & Head of Israeli Office Ofer Schreiber leads the Tel Aviv office together with VP of Marketing, Sharon Seemann. With a team of 12 spread across two offices, YL Ventures has engrained itself in both the U.S. and Israeli cybersecurity ecosystems.