Brian Beyer – CEO/CO-FOUNDER
Mr. Beyer, what is the concept behind Red Canary?
Mr. Beyer: You can see in the news every day that companies continue to fall victim to hackers that breach their organization. The results can be pretty disastrous- most recently, we saw the fallout around the Ashley Madison hack. That is what Red Canary works to prevent. We provide a very easy to use service where customers of all sized organizations get advanced detection and response traditionally available only to the largest corporations.
They install a small piece of software on their computers and our technology looks at everything that happens and identifies anything that looks like an attacker. We then eliminate noisy false positives, confirm actual threats, and notify our customers where they need to respond. The goal is empowering businesses to stop those attacks before any sensitive data is leaked.
What do you understand and what is it in your approach that would lead people to believe you really know how to do it?
Mr. Beyer: One of the advantages we have – and something I love about this team – is that we have experts at security who have been both on the defensive side as well as on the offensive side. Many of us come from defense and intelligence backgrounds that give us insight into how the attackers think.
The other advantage is our philosophy toward detecting threats. We believe you need a combination of both great technology and great people to solve this problem. Most security solutions on the market are focused around just the software product. We know from our experience that you need great people as well, but most companies can’t find and retain that talent. That is where Red Canary’s combination of both technology and expert humans looking at the data really gives us the power needed to protect organizations from cyber threats.
What is an example of where that human element really comes into play?
Mr. Beyer: A great example is with one of our customers in South America. They signed up for Red Canary, deployed our sensor, and had Red Canary monitoring their business before the end of the day. Thirty minutes after deployment we had confirmed a targeted attack where the attacker had used a modified Skype application, changed the application’s icon to look exactly like the company’s logo, and was sending data to a server that looked almost exactly like the customer’s website. Individual elements of this attack might have been picked up with other automated products, but our analyst was able to review the threat and confirm it from previous experience with this type of data and attack obfuscation. There is simply no product yet that can replicate our expert analysts in this situation.
What types of companies are turning to Red Canary?
Mr. Beyer: Red Canary’s security service provides great value to businesses of almost every size, but today we are most focused on supporting the mid-enterprise businesses who have really been left out by security providers in the past. There is a lot of focus in the cybersecurity market on the big Fortune 500 businesses who have multimillion-dollar security budgets and massive teams to deploy, configure, and manage the new and complex products.
That leaves the tens of thousands of businesses that make up the core of our economy really underserved and undefended against these types of attacks. These are the companies that can benefit most quickly from Red Canary. They get a security service that combines and manages multiple detection technologies and a Security Operations Center that eliminates false positives so their teams can stay focused on defending their growing business.
Is word of mouth a strong factor for you?
Mr. Beyer: It is an extremely strong factor. Our customers are exceptionally happy and are very vocal about that in their security communities. We often shy away from public testimonials because you don’t want to advertise who is protecting your business because it can make you more of a target. Those private communities where our customers talk about the tremendous value of their Red Canary experience speak more about what we’re doing than anything else.
What has changed over time about your approach?
Mr. Beyer: Our biggest changes have resulted from customer feedback and learning how they operate. An example of this is the genesis of our automated remediation feature. We originally told our customers how to remediate threats we detected but quickly found that every business is different – different policies, different compliance requirements, difference regulations. So instead we launched the ability for our customers to quickly and automatically remediate threats in the way that fits their business.
When someone comes to learn about your service, do they understand the depth of what you have to offer?
Mr. Beyer: The types of organizations we work with really varies. We enjoy showing how Red Canary benefits your business whether you are the IT director who is now responsible for security or whether you are the Chief Information Security Officer who has been doing this for decades. We designed Red Canary to bring the power of a Fortune 100 company’s endpoint security to every business. Our customers may not always understand the effort and strategy behind our service, but they always understand how it is protecting their business and letting them focus on growth.
How is business?
Mr. Beyer: Business is growing very well. We launched publicly this year at the end of March and have been growing very rapidly since then thanks to a great response from the market. The thing I am most excited about is how our customers are going out and telling their peers about Red Canary. That really validates what we are doing.
Do people understand?
Mr. Beyer: They do. Many companies are fatigued with the market’s product focused approach. They know they need both great technology and great people. They know it is very hard to find that talent in a market that has zero percent unemployment for cyber security experts. The companies that recognize that talent shortage and understand the risk to their business embrace Red Canary’s technology plus people approach wholeheartedly.
Do you work directly with customers? Are you or will you be working with partners and channels? What are you doing now and what might you do later?
Mr. Beyer: We do both and plan to do so forever. We have a very strong, direct approach where we work directly with customers, but a big part of our approach is partnering with IT and security focused firms and our technology partners including Bit9+Carbon Black, Farsight Security, Wapack Labs, and others.
What is your geographic range today?
Mr. Beyer: We are headquartered in Denver with customers throughout the United States and overseas.
What might be different a year from now?
Mr. Beyer: We’ll be defending many more customers and our team will continue to grow. I am really excited for the next several releases of our service. We are bringing our customers even better detection and additional tools that allow them to respond to threats themselves even faster than they can do today. It is an area where we have been leading the market so far and I am excited for the next steps we take to outdo ourselves.
How are you able to stay ahead of the bad guys?
Mr. Beyer: We have a great team with the experience of knowing what to look for and we arm them with all of the technology and the data of what is happening across all of our customers. That gives them tremendous insight into what the attackers are doing and how they are evolving. When a zero day attack affects one of our customers and we detect it, we have all of the information about what it took to conduct that attack. That means that we could take it apart and see how we can identify not just that attack but any similar attacks in the future.
Is instinct a part of it? Are there some people that just understand threats?
Mr. Beyer: They absolutely do. It is one of the things that makes our approach very unique in that we do not believe you start with a product and that is the end. It goes back to our philosophy of great technology plus great people.
When you have humans in the loop and the technology supporting them, you can leverage that instinct. Our goal is to quantify that instinct and observe what that instinct looks like so that we can build as much of that as possible into our platform. In a chess game between the best supercomputer a mediocre super computer supported by the instinct of a great chess player, that combination of the technology and human is always going to win.
Why pay attention to Red Canary today?
Mr. Beyer: Red Canary’s unique combination of market leading technology and expert security analysts gives businesses of every size a depth of security they’ve rarely been able to leverage or afford. We’re detecting the threats of today and tomorrow and allowing our customers to focus on growing their businesses rather than dump resources and top talent into figuring out how to defend it.