In an interview with CIOApplications, Chad Smith, CEO and Dane Connell, Co-founder of Cybeta, provide valuable insights about the company and the solutions that it is offering to address cybersecurity quandaries.
Would you like to throw some light on laying the foundational stone behind Cybeta?
One of the founding principles of bringing Cybeta to the market pertains to the fact that there has historically been a misguided emphasis on surface-level scorecards and post-attack analysis. From our experience in counter-terrorism and other national security issues, we knew the fruitlessness of acting after an attack or providing customers a laundry list of potential risks. Risks are hypothetical and infinite. We focus on contextualized and actionable intelligence based on our proven predictive metrics. We entered the cybersecurity landscape with a complete focus on predicting the highest likelihood attacks and preventing them in the first place.
Cybeta is powered by our in-house experts data science and big data, along with a highly experienced and dedicated team who analyze the surface, deep and dark web. The team is focused on addressing protection from an attack before the leading edge of the cyber attack chain. We prototyped, externally validated, and launched a predictive cyber threat metric and alerting product that helps our clients consolidate security tools and maximize the efficiency of their security investments by constantly focusing on the highest likelihood attack points. This isn’t just wordplay either; we have vigorously tested the algorithm. This is not a generic scorecard with made-up rankings. Our metric effectively predicts future breaches.
What is your method or strategy to proactively secure companies from attacks? Please tell us about the industries you serve?
Companies aren’t targeted, their people and technologies are. It is with this mindset that we reversed the cyber targeting process to extract patterns about cyber precursor activities we call reconnaissance. For example, Dane ran a counter-terrorism center and targeted many difficult entities, both people, entities and technologies by using the same method of methodical reconnaissance and planning. By fine-tuning and repurposing his and our other threat engineers’ decades of experience, we created, tested, and validated a predictive metric. Our customers use that as a real-time alerting and prioritization tool, knowing that although no defense is perfect, they are constantly addressing the highest likelihood and highest impact threats.
In terms of industries, we are ubiquitous. From the insurance industry to e-retailers to critical infrastructure and technology, we have our presence in all markets.
What are some of the unique offerings that you leverage to assist your clients?
Anything that provides an insight into what might happen in the future is highly valuable for our clients and for us. For that reason, Cybeta OverwatchTM, Threat BetaTM, and Threat AlphaTM are our core offerings. Cybeta Overwatch provides near-real-time analysis and alerting of changes to global attack patterns matched against your unique business footprint to provide constant protection. Threat Beta measures and predicts technology risks as a precursor to a breach. Threat Alpha uses a bottom-up approach and captures the complete financial impact that an organization might face in the event of a successful cyber breach.
Through our offerings, we provide a predictive edge to our customers to take preventive actions concerning potential threats before they become breaches. Unlike scorecards that operate like automated laundry list producers, we provide contextualized, actionable, and personalized intelligence; this is why it tests off the charts for predictability of actual future attacks.
You can’t automate human experience, and we believe our combination of data science, algorithms, and unparalleled human expertise provides customers a true edge in this very difficult cyber environment.
Cybeta Overwatch includes our Secure Vendor Program, which leverages our data collection and analysis from the surface, deep, and dark web. Through continuous monitoring and analysis, we provide real-time alerting to events and trends happening globally that we calculate create an increased likelihood of impact to our customers. We provide quantified empirical data that is based on our independent validation, which helps in predicting an attack or a breach.
What are some of the factors or differentiators that help you stay ahead of your competitors?
I think what makes us unique in the industry are the forward-thinking leaders in the company who understand the difficulty of the cybersecurity puzzle. We have never been focused on just malware, or endpoint security or log analysis or even rudimentary and arbitrary report cards on customer security. All of those services are reactive at best, and in some cases, structured to pressure customers into buying products based on unproven “scores.”
The other thing that sets us apart is that we provide contextual analysis and actionable intelligence to alert companies about the highest likelihood of future infiltrations in their environment. Our core capabilities encompass a lot of features that companies need while layering over the top, both predictive and quantification metrics. In addition to demonstrably improving their security by lowering the likelihood of a breach, it helps them to know the ROI of their investment in cybersecurity from a dollars and cents perspective.
Can you share a customer success story with us?
For a large shipping company, we performed an Overwatch scan. Overwatch constantly monitors the surface, deep and dark web, analyses millions of micro trends in cyber activity, and uses sophisticated benchmarking techniques to alert our clients on vulnerabilities and the likelihood of an attack. We complemented our client’s existing information security and risk management efforts by proactively identifying and protecting unknown vulnerabilities. After a detailed analysis, we identified and remediated unknown current and active threats against their technology stack. A week later, when there was a global attack on that exact technology, our offerings, and smart solutions, prevented a cyber-attack against our client.
To continue delivering such remarkable solutions, we hire the right experts and industry expert partners. Our cadre gained their skills from decades of experience at the DoD and U.S. National Intelligence communities. Cybeta experts have been conducting reconnaissance and planning operations against targets for decades.
How has the company’s track record been so far? Would you like to highlight some of the major milestones achieved by Cybeta?
One of the company’s biggest milestones has been our productization of the methodology into a robust and efficient analytics engine. We originally built and validated of 500+ use cases, which proved to have six month’s predictability. We then went back multiple years with the same samples and extended to 12 months predictability. And now we are in the process of a massive project that which early test results show will make our Threat Beta metric up to 18 months predictive of a future breach.
Separately, we have partnered with some of the biggest names in the insurance industry to create a cutting edge and truly game-changing analytics capability in the insurance vertical. This achievement is going to completely switch the paradigm on how the analytics is done for different lines of insurance, including cyber.
What does the roadmap look like for Cybeta?
Generally, the cybersecurity space focuses on endpoint or hardware solution products and maximizing the efficiency of responses to intrusions. There are several amazing products in the market from a hardware perspective, but by the time we install them on our systems, they become obsolete. Or by the time detection is optimized, you are squarely on the defensive. We are flipping the discussion on its head by creating dynamic products that will continue to predict with greater accuracy and foresight. Over the horizon, security is what we are delivering, and it is one of a kind.
The proliferation of cyber tools tends to be industry agnostic. So, an additional focus for us in 2020 is making industry-specific solutions for maritime, oil & gas, financial institutions, insurance, and others. We have been asked by leaders in each of those industries, and others, to provide them a truly bespoke and predictive cyber solution for their vertical. That is what we are well in the development lifecycle of delivering.