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December 13, 2016

SecBI CTO Talks Security, Telecom Predictions 2017

We’ve certainly seen our share of technologies that advance the world we live in today. Emerging technologies based on machine learning and analytics are already having a huge impact on the industry and bringing about some really fascinating technology solutions.

While this began to really sprout in 2016, there is still more to come.

I recently caught up with Alex Vaystikh, CTO at SecBI, to find out more about this past years successes and predictions for the upcoming year.

The company, which closed a successful funding round in 2016, secured $5 million from Orange (News - Alert) Digital Ventures, Connecticut Innovations, Amichai Shulman and existing investor Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP). The round, Vaystikh noted, is, “critical to development and enables us to bring our solutions to market and increase our sales footprints in North America and Europe. We are especially excited that the round was led by Orange, one of the largest MSSPs in Europe. This was definitely a strategic investment for SecBI.”

But along with successes always come challenges too. The industry as a whole faced a shortage of software engineers that specialize in machine learning and big data technologies. And this, Vaystikh said, affects every technology solution that revolves around machine learning – including cybersecurity. Without this pool of talent, cybersecurity challenges will pervade.   

On the cybersecurity front, 2016 did have some achievements, Vaystikh noted.
Major developments in security response automation solutions for the cybersecurity industry and M&A processes (IBM (News - Alert) acquired Resilient Systems) as well as impressive funding rounds (Darktrace completed a $65M round) and many startup success stories (Hexadite, Carbon Black) happened in 2016.

This same innovation will make its way into the new year with machine learning and analytics technologies becoming key for security professionals.

In 2017, “New security solutions based on machine learning and analytics technologies will create a security layer that operates on top of the existing commodity network gateways technologies, delivering actionable intelligence from the endless amounts of data in the gateways,” Vaystikh told yours truly.

As this happens, we’ll see a move away from IT departments being the only team to handle security needs. Instead, Vaystikh said, we’ll start to see SOC teams who will lead the innovation and implementation of new security solutions while IT teams remain dedicated to maintenance of existing solutions.

With this added focus on security, we’ll also see a trend for cyberinsurance arising in 2017, Vaystikh predicts.

“Insurance companies are increasingly refusing to cover breach damages in cases where advanced security solutions are not in place. As such, enterprises will need to invest in new technologies in order to comply with these new regulations.”

And you’ll probably want to start looking now. If Vaystikh’s bold prediction for this year has any possibility of coming to fruition.

When asked to make one bold prediction for the upcoming year, Vaystikh said we may see the first cloud data center-focused ransomware. As ransomware becomes smarter, it will merge with information-stealing malware and first steal information and then selectively encrypt it, either on-demand or when other malicious goals have been achieved.

“We are already seeing ransomware being used in sensitive environments such as hospitals, but so far there hasn’t been significant damage.  However, if malware is used to exfiltrate patient information before encrypting it, the results could, as happened in the case of the Central Ohio Urology, be catastrophic.”  




Edited by Alicia Young
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