Monday, January 8, 2018

Your daily routine

Nowadays, we leave our footprints everywhere we go. Every time we pay with credit card, every public transport we take and every minute we’re using social media, we’re setting breadcrumbs that define our way and daily routine. This definition of our routines, apart of being an unwanted social control, this can warn when the routines are broken and something suspicious happens.    

This week we want to talk about Sanjay Aurora, managing director, APAC, for Darktrace and an expert on the benefits of companies’ routines. Sanjay used to work for Oracle, Autonomy and OpenText. His career makes him a specialist on cybersecurity based on AI. We are going to discover the truth of Darktrace’s success in the market and the nature of its technology. 

Sanjay joined Darktrace in 2015 to lead its east expansión. Darktrace is a company specialized in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for cyberdefense. It was funded in order to solve a problem:  the failure of perimeter defense cybersecurity and reliance on rudimentary signatures. We call our approach the ‘Enterprise Immune System’. Just as our bodies understand and respond if something abnormal enters our system, we enable organizations to achieve the same result using AI — the ability to identify and handle unknown threats. Companies that used the IA had the same results: They identified and were able to handle the threats. 

For many, the way Darktrace works is still a mystery. But it´s important to understand the way it works to understand its importance. Darktrace offers visibility from inside out every network and this is the key of its success. Growing in IoT, 5G, and operations in the hybrid cloud and more, Darktrace is capable of give sight looking for ‘leading indicators’ or abnormalities. It uses AI to stablish what is normal in an organisation. 

Darktrace’s technology sits inside the network and listens to traffic — establishing the company’s ‘patterns of life’. Understanding that baseline allows us to identify anomalous behaviour. That can include external threats and malicious or non-malicious insiders. This allows the company to understand better their network and preventing bigger problems. 

When Sanjay is asked about the key of its success he says: ‘The core reason for our success is that we are delivering a functional and much needed solution. Our approach has now become the new ‘hot-topic’. But, three years ago, it was a new idea. Our technology is applicable to almost any company. In APAC, we contract with companies as large as Telstra, but also town councils, small law firms, all the way down to independent bakeries — all are able to leverage what  Darktrace offers.’ His go-to-market strategy was based on leasing the product on a four-week trial. During that amount of time, the technology allowed them to show the companies things they learnt from their networks that even the companies themselves didn’t know. Sanjay was sure about it: ‘We have always thought that showing people what our technology can do is better than a sales pitch.’ 

There’s a theme that is present in every attack that happens and it is the lack of talent that cybersecurity has. Sanjay says: ‘When looking to reinvent an industry, it is not that important to hire someone who has years of experience and doing things the way they used to be done’. Darktrace has approach talent by hiring recently graduated brilliant people that would want to an exciting field and do meaningful work with cutting edge technology. There is the power of the AI as Sanjay understands it, that you won’t need an army of people anymore. What you need are people who can contextualize and connect the dots that Darktrace finds. Sanjay explains it: ‘Our success comes from a flat culture and looking for relatively inexperienced, but smart people who can learn and think outside the box and adapt.’

By analyzing the greatest threats that have been news through the last years, we reached the conclusion that these indicators appeared and if they could’ve been detected, the attacks could have been stopped. Usually, a big attack takes more than 260 days to materialize. In those 260 days there are lateral movements, scans and reconnaissance. Existing security stacks that focus on stopping breaches are not able to identify these issues. This is the problem Darktrace solves.


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