Cyber security has traditionally relied on monitoring networks for suspicious activity and then implementing response plans when it’s identified. Unfortunately, as networks have become increasingly complicated – and as malicious actors have grown more sophisticated in their methods and attacks – these archaic approaches to security are starting to fail.
This past year was witness to some tremendously damaging cyber attacks. Many of which – including the breach impacting the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) – weren’t discovered for months after they occurred. In the time between when breaches begin and when they’re discovered, an incredible amount of personal information can be compromised and utilized for any number of nefarious activities.
This is one of the reasons why today’s security industry – and CIOs and CISOs at enterprises – are shifting focus and exploring new approaches to securing networks and information. These new approaches to security utilize risk-based thinking and automation to defeat malicious actors and keep breaches from occurring. This is a stark contrast to the traditional approach, which involved identifying breaches and the scope of breaches, and then plugging holes and vulnerabilities that enabled breaches to occur.
A new company in the National Capital region called Cryptonite is one of the security solution providers set on preventing attacks in the first place. The company’s CEO, Michael Simon, will be appearing at the upcoming Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference to present Cryptonite and its technologies in advance of its official launch in Q3 of 2016.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Michael prior to the conference to discuss the trends impacting today’s cybersecurity market, what will differentiate Cryptonite in the extremely crowded security market and which industries and market verticals he feels are most in need of Cryptonite’s solutions.
Here is what he had to say:
CGCS: Can you tell our readers about your background and professional experience? What prompted your to move towards cybersecurity? How did you get involved with Cryptonite?
Mr. Simon: My interest in technology started during college, while studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Maryland. After earning my degree, I began my career as a systems engineer at Data General Corporation. Years later, I co-founded two successful tech companies – AIB Software and LocalEyes – which were sold to Platinum Technologies and AOL, respectively.
I also contributed to the success of Ariba, a procurement management company purchased by SAP, and Convex Computer Corporation, a scientific computing company purchased by HP, prior to their public offerings.
In 2015, Larry Davis of Aronson Capital, introduced me to Intelligent Automation Incorporated (IAI). IAI consists of a cross-disciplinary team of more than 160 research scientists and engineers. I was intrigued with the research and development they had been doing in cybersecurity technology since 2010.
With the assistance of the IAI management team, we transferred the research, developed software and key personnel to a startup company, Cryptonite.
CGCS: Cryptonite will officially be launched in the summer of 2016. What can we expect from the company? What solutions will the company be offering? What will make Cryptonite’s solutions different from other security solutions on the market today?
Mr. Simon: We’ll be launching the Cryptonite brand – including its online presence – in the third quarter of 2016. By then, we are confident that Cryptonite will already be providing security solutions to select clients, with more on the way.
Our flagship product is called Self-shielding Dynamic Network Architecture (SDNA), which reinforces the security of networks, making enterprise communication virtually unintelligible and undetectable to malicious attackers.
Our system is unique because it isn’t alarm-based. It doesn’t rely on an engineer’s ability to stay one step ahead of an attacker. Instead, we enhance the base network infrastructure, which dramatically reduces the need for individuals and applications to watch network traffic.
CGCS: What types of companies/industries will be the target for Cyryptonite’s solutions? Why are these vertical markets – in particular – in need of Cryptonite’s solution?
Mr. Simon: We have identified five key markets for our SDNA product – financial services, insurance/medical, government, retail/credit card, and critical infrastructure. It’s essential for these markets to protect digital property and operational systems, for their own organizations and for their clients.
As their base security infrastructure protection, SDNA will quickly evolve into a critical component of an organization’s solution to protect against malicious attacks.
CGCS: Cybersecurity has become one of the hottest technology sectors. Why is cybersecurity such a large focus across organizations today? What trends, policies, regulations or other factors are pressuring organizations to focus so intently on protecting their networks and data?
Mr. Simon: It’s critical to protect sensitive information now more than ever, and most solutions out there are just not up to par.
Companies and organizations need to safeguard trade secrets and maintain consumer trust. This will help them keep a competitive advantage, and increase shareholder value. This is why people are so focused on cybersecurity.
They’re also feeling pressure from the federal government. For example, HIPPA and Gramm-Leach-Bailey are the two big laws that require companies to provide reasonable protection for their healthcare and financial data. However, these laws are dated and their definition of, “reasonable protection,” is unclear.
Banks are also feeling pressure to make retailers share in the costs associated with breaches, and retailers are now fearing that new laws may require them to invest more in their cybersecurity infrastructure, as well.
CGCS: You’re going to be attending the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference and participating in the event’s annual Technology Showcase. What made you choose to participate at this year’s conference? What can attendees expect from your presentation at the event?
Mr. Simon: The Washington D.C. area is quickly becoming a hub for cybersecurity solutions given the importance to the Federal Government and the health of our economy. The Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference is a great way to introduce our company, our unique technological approach, and our plans for SDNA.