The CEO of the $3.7 billion security startup Tanium is facing another scandal

Orion TaniumCourtesy of TaniumTanium CEO Orion Hindawi

Another unsettling accusation has landed at the feet of Orion Hindawi, the CEO of security started Tanium. He has allegedly been giving prospective customers a view into a hospital’s live network for years and no one seems to remember giving Tanium permission to do so, The Wall Street Journal’s Rolfe Winkler reports.

Hindawi was using the hospital in various product demos from 2010-2015, sources told the WSJ. Tanium software was allegedly installed in the hospital by one of Tanium’s partners, with videos of the demos posted on YouTube. However, after the WSJ started investigating, the videos were reportedly removed and the hospital told the Journal that it never authorised Tanium to use its live network in that manner, and wasn’t even aware of the demos. The partner also told the Journal it never gave the security startup permission to use the hospital’s data for demos.

A Tanium spokesperson told the WSJ that it didn’t do a good enough job in protecting the details of its customers’ data in those live demos, although it claims that no patient data was revealed. Neither Tanium nor the hospital named in the WSJ story immediately responded to our request for comment.

Tanium makes what’s known as end-point security, meaning it ensures that all the PCs, smartphones, tablets, and other devices connected to the network are patched and secure and can’t be used as gateways for hackers.

Just to put in context how big a deal the allegations against Tanium are, the whole reason a company buys security software is to make sure that people who aren’t authorised cannot crack open a network and peek inside. It’s a little like discovering your building doorman had been bringing strangers into your apartment to prove that he’s capable of guarding an apartment building.

What’s worse is that this report follows one published last week by Bloomberg’s Lizette Chapman and Sarah McBride, in which employees complained that Hindawi is a CEO allegedly known to humiliate them and fire people right before their stock options vested. The company denies the allegations.

Tanium was founded by Hindawi and his father a decade ago. It came to prominence after raising $US287 million of venture investment at a valuation of $US3.7 billion, much of that coming from the VC powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz after urging from former Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky, an adviser for Andreessen Horowitz who once called Tanium’s technology “magic.”

Today it is one of the highest-valued security startups in the tech industry.

For more on the allegations against Tanium and the executive exodus it’s currently facing, head on over to The Wall Street Journal.

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