The Evolution of Cyber Defense
CYDEF sprouted out of a desire to protect Canadians businesses of all sizes online. Over the past 3 years, CYDEF grew into a continuously evolving security platform that defends small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) against threats from the cybersecurity landscape.
In this blog post Elana Graham shares her perspective as a CYDEF co-founder and COO.
Putting Together the Team
Three years ago, my role at Canadian Nuclear Labs seemed like a natural progression in my career. From the military to an MBA (while raising three kids!) to managing capital projects in large corporate settings, I’d taken a pretty diverse look at the world through a security lens. I had a general sense of what cybersecurity tools worked in corporate settings, and what was missing.
In 2017, Paul Hindo (CYDEF’s CEO), introduced me CYDEF Founder Tiago de Jesus. Tiago was working on a cybersecurity concept that promised to provide analysts with cutting-edge SIEM tools at a fraction of the cost.
I knew he was onto something; he was pitching the cybersecurity tool I’d been looking for throughout my corporate career. Paired with Paul’s vision to build tools that make the world a better place, I saw a very compelling vision for the future.
With that, I decided to take the leap to co-found Quantum Cyber Defense Corp with Tiago and Paul.
The Beginnings of Verifiable Security
As it turns out, Tiago had been marinating in the concept of Verifiable Security for quite some time.
While doing what I consider pioneering work at the RCMP Cybersecurity Lab, Tiago had grown frustrated with the ‘stove piped’ approached to cyber technology. To get a holistic view of the entire security landscape, he manually pulled data from a variety of sources. It required a depth of expertise, understanding of multiple systems and lots of time. In the end, the data wasn’t even very useful. With that, he knew there was an opportunity to provide in-depth cybersecurity knowledge – not just random data sets.
This experience left Tiago with a new vision. A vision for a Detection and Response product that provided a clear picture of what was happening on a corporate network, without too much effort or knowledge of cybersecurity.
With Paul’s financial support, Tiago started to build a tool that Junior Analysts could easily learn to use, without heaps of training and knowledge. Which ultimately lowered the barrier to entry; it wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to use this tool. Meaning businesses of all sizes could get on board with cybersecurity, not just those that can pay for the tool and the knowledge required to operate it.
The tool soon became SMART-Monitor, an endpoint detection and response service that complimented the standard Anti-Virus tools standard in most businesses. The difference being: SMART-Monitor provided total visibility into the security landscape at a fraction of the cost.
Bringing Together a New Vision
After years of employment with large corporations, I had the privilege of managing tools from some of the best known SIEM and EDR providers. Which meant I was also aware of the price tag that went along with these tools. To put it bluntly, they were totally out of reach for most small and mid-market businesses.
So, when Paul introduced me to Tiago – I got it. I understood the struggle to truly secure a business. I could especially understand the unresolved threat to SMEs, given the hefty price tag associated with cybersecurity with my corporate employers.
From the beginning of our journey together, our objective was to make Detection and Response a commodity. We worked to build a tool specifically for SMEs and other organizations that historically could not afford cybersecurity or a Security Operations Centre.
The result: a tool that leveraged cloud technology to do the heavy lifting, reduced false positives and exclusively presented real, verifiable alerts.
Now, we were only looking at needles instead of the whole haystack.
Pivoting and Transformation
We started out with a very different approach to cybersecurity – with a specific focus on SMEs. But we were met with one major problem: Our clients and partners had no time to use it.
So, we pivoted to a managed version of the product. We provide the expertise to track down endpoint threats, while our clients focus on running their businesses.
Now, we’ve added an anti-virus product to our managed endpoint protection. This new layer provides SMEs with the visibility into what’s happening on their networks so they can feel secure doing business online.
We’ve also adopted a new operating name: CYDEF. Since we’re all about simplicity, we want to be easy to remember, find and use.
CYDEF in Action: PUPs in Natural Resources Firms
One of CYDEF’s first clients was a mining company concerned about potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) threatening their data privacy.
Their employees travelled around the world, plugging into new and sometimes unknown networks, putting their devices in the line of fire. Considering the organization’s team of IT professionals were often operating in very different time zones and locales, vulnerabilities could be exploited for hours before anyone might notice.
So, the firm trialed CYDEF’s original product: The SMART-Sentinel platform. The trial became a contract, and CYDEF has now been supporting the organization for over a year. They even deployed SMART-Monitor, when it became an option, and our team of experts have detected and tracked down unwanted activity promptly.
In our client’s words:
I am happy to say that CYDEF is indeed best in class when it comes to protecting our systems, our work, and our clients' information.
CYDEF is a growing and dynamic company, where the brightest cyber security minds meets eager entrepreneurs. We all share one vision: to provide verifiable security to organizations who might otherwise go unprotected. If you are curious about our products, approach or story, get in touch! We’d love to hear from you.
Co-Founder and COO
Elana combines almost two decades in the Canadian Armed Forces with extensive project management experience, a PENG designation and an MBA. She’s a proud part of the core management team at CYDEF.
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