Aviva Zacks of Safety Detective had the great pleasure of interviewing Amber Schroader, CEO and Founder of Paraben. She told her how her team stays ahead of the game by using their customers’ technology so they know how to help them.
Safety Detective: What motivated you to start your company?
Amber Schroader: I started my company for a different reason than many. I was involved in the field of digital forensics, and the company I had been working with let me go. Then I had that moment where I thought I should either find my potential or take a secure job. I decided to go with my potential, and I started my company and designing technology for digital forensics because that was where my passion was. I actually started competing against the company that had let me go, so it all worked out in the end.
SD: What kinds of tools does your company offer?
AS: We offer digital forensic technology that is involved in all parts of cybersecurity because anytime you have a breach or investigation you use our technology to go in and recover data, image the information, and make sure that it is court-ready or forensic grade. We deal with computers, networks, cloud, IoT, and smartphones. Literally, every aspect of digital data follows under the purview of digital forensics and the technology we work with. We do it all under a single suite of tools that allows you to review any of that data.
SD: Can you tell me about the educational aspect of your company?
AS: I’m a big fan of supporting the education of all people to understand the area of digital forensics. We offer online education as part of what we do in our educational aspects. We make sure that when people learn about the field of digital forensics, they not only understand the fundamentals of what is happening behind tools and technology, but they also understand how to practically apply them. I’m a big fan of making sure that anyone can do a lab, whether they’re an executive or someone working in the field. They should know how to get into the bits and bytes of the data to look at those little parts of our digital fingerprint that make it so valuable to recover in digital forensics.
SD: What do you think are the worst cyberthreats today?
AS: I think the worst cyberthreat always comes down to just people. We can be our own worst enemy. I think right now a lot of people are doing remote work, and they’re not necessarily thinking about their cybersecurity as much because it’s not in front of them. I think that we have a problem where a lot of employees are our worst threat, and we have to work at doing active education for them. They need to watch out for what’s different when they are telecommuting versus when they’re working within the office environment, even with security and VPNs. I think there is a constant education process that has to happen with the people that are involved in the organization to make sure that they’re not making your worst threat or worst nightmares happen.
SD: How do you stay ahead of your competition?
AS: It’s always hard to stay ahead because digital forensics is a really heavy research area. We have always prided ourselves on making sure that we keep active R&D within the company. We do all of our own research internally which means we truly understand what the problem is before we determine the best way to solve it.
We actively work with and participate in the technology. We rotate the different types of devices we’re using and change out our operating systems because you really have to understand how people use the technology to make sure that you’re providing the investigation of that technology correctly. You wouldn’t expect us to investigate Apple if the entire company works on Windows. We do a rotation of technology so that part of our research team is always using what they’re researching. This way, they understand that balance of how people use it versus how we might look at it in the clinical sense.
SD: Can you tell me how you think COVID-19 is going to change cybersecurity for the future?
AS: I think that COVID-19 is doing a positive for cybersecurity because people are paying more attention to it. Remote work has made it so that we all have to stay mindful of our home as well as of our place of work because they’ve become the same. I think the general populous is noticing where the cybersecurity impact is.
With all the new phishing schemes and with all of the issues they’re having with all of their children being online all the time for education, they’ve started to pay attention to cybersecurity. I think the way that people are becoming more aware of what’s happening digitally is going to be a positive impact of COVID. They are paying more attention to their digital identity and what their kids are doing online.
Good fences build good neighbors. Good cybersecurity builds safer neighbors. That positive impact didn’t happen before because people took it for granted. I think that COVID-19 is helping people not take their digital presence for granted.