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Cybeta Awarded Top 25 Cyber Security Company – Interview with Chad Smith and Dane Connell

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin

Chicago-based Cybeta uses data science to identify, prioritize, and mitigate cyber threats before impact. Clients maximize the return on investment of all their security decisions. Cybeta has built and used a predictive cybersecurity methodology across all global technologies and enterprises. They apply targeted methods, learned and honed at various intelligence agencies, in reverse to protect their customers proactively.

In an interview with CIO Applications, Chad Smith, CEO of Liberty Advisor Group, and Dane Connell, a Cybeta co-founder, provide insights about the company and its solutions to address cybersecurity quandaries.

Explain Cybeta’s foundational principles.

A core founding principle driving Cybeta is that there has historically been a misguided emphasis on surface-level scorecards and post-attack analysis. Our experience in counterterrorism and other national security issues showed the fruitlessness of acting after an attack or of providing customers with a laundry list of potential risks.

Risks are hypothetical and infinite. We focus on contextualized and actionable intelligence driven by proven predictive metrics. We entered the cybersecurity landscape with a  focus on predicting the highest-likelihood attacks and preventing them.

Data science and big data experts power Cybeta, along with an experienced and dedicated team of operators who expertly navigate the surface, deep and dark web. Our team focuses on addressing cyber threat metrics and alerting product that helps our clients consolidate security tools. Our clients maximize the efficiency of their security investments by constantly focusing on the highest likelihood attack points. This isn’t rhetorical; our data scientists have vigorously tested the algorithm. This is not a generic scorecard. Our metric effectively predicts future breaches.

How do you proactively secure companies from attacks?

Companies aren’t targeted, their people and technologies are.

This mindset led us to reverse 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 including people, entities, and technologies by using the same method of methodical reconnaissance and planning. By fine-tuning and repurposing his decades of experience, our team created, tested, and validated a predictive metric.

Our customers use that metric 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.

What are some of the unique solutions you offer your clients?

Anything that provides insight into what might happen in the future is highly valuable for our clients and for us, making Cybeta OverwatchThreat Beta, and Threat Alpha 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 to capture the complete financial impact an organization might face in the event of a successful cyber breach.

These solutions provide a predictive edge to our customers enabling them to take preventive actions against potential threats before they become breaches. Unlike scorecards that operate like automated laundry list producers, we provide contextualized, actionable, and personalized intelligence. Our products provide off-the- charts accuracy for the predictability of actual future attacks.

You can’t automate human experience, and we believe our combination of data science, algorithms, and unparalleled human experience provides customers a true edge in this challenging cyber environment.

Cybeta Overwatch includes our Secure Vendor Program that 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 on our customers. We provide quantified empirical data that is based on our independent validation, which helps in predicting an attack or a breach.

Will you share a customer success story?

We performed an Overwatch analysis for a large shipping company. Overwatch constantly monitors the surface, deep and dark web, analyzes millions of micro trends in cyber activity, and uses sophisticated benchmarking to alert our clients to 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 data-based solutions, prevented a cyber-attack against our client.

To continue delivering remarkable solutions, we hire the right experts and industry expert partners. Our team gained their skill from decades of experience in the U.S. Intelligence Community. Cybeta experts have been conducting reconnaissance and planning operations against targets for decades.

Explain some of the milestones Cybeta has achieved.

One of Cybeta’s biggest milestones has been releasing our methodology as a robust and efficient analytics engine product for clients. We originally built and validated more than 500 use cases, which proved to have six months’ predictability. We then went back multiple years with the same samples and extended to 12 months of predictability.  Now we are in the process that early test results show will make our Threat Beta metric able to predict a future breach up to 18 months ahead.

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 will revolutionize the paradigm of how analytics is done for different lines of insurance, including cyber.

What does the roadmap look like for Cybeta?

Generally, cybersecurity technology 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 and predictability are what we are delivering, and it is one of a kind.

The proliferation of cyber tools tends to be industry agnostic. A focus for Cybeta 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 with a truly bespoke and predictive cyber solution. That is what we are well into testing and delivering.

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