Aviva Zacks of Safety Detectives had the opportunity to sit down with Chuck Reynolds, Founder and CTO of Technical Systems Integrators. She asked him about the human component of cyberthreats.
Safety Detectives: What was your motivation to start the company?
Chuck Reynolds: I had a friend who wanted to start a “VARship” and was searching for a suitable industry. At the time, I was working for a company that was starting a value-added reseller (VAR) channel. My role was to look for new VARs for our channel, and after meeting many of the companies I realized that I could probably be a better VAR than them and decided to start my own business.
I like innovation, I like discovering new things and new technologies, and delivering them to end-users. It was a perfect fit for my personality and what I wanted to offer.
SD: What does your company do?
CR: We help companies take their unique processes, workflows, and infrastructure, and automate those into a self-service delivery portal for their end users, whether they are internal or external. We develop and deliver large ROIs and provide services and results quicker, better, and more accurately across a wide range of use cases while requiring less personnel and infrastructure resources.
SD: What types of verticals use your services?
CR: We service numerous verticals, including demo, proof-of-concept, and proof-of-value portal implementations. Our solutions provide orchestration and provisioning automation across labs of all sorts from network equipment manufacturers and service providers, telcos, and cable companies. We deliver complete lifecycle management of test and DevOps environments and their workflows and provide Cyber Range as a Service® (CRaaS). The latter service allows us to deliver preproduction or production copies of infrastructure for various cyber activities. We offer Lab as a Service (LaaS) training portals for end-users to practice with a sandbox copy of their unique infrastructure and workflows for use cases such as cyber incident response or continuing education. We support CI/CD use case workflows and many other scenarios. Additionally, we provide both hardware and orchestration technologies to provide High Performance Compute as a Service (HPCaaS) workflows based around cutting edge datacenter network fabric technology for AI/ML/DL and Modeling/Simulation use cases.
SD: How does your company stay ahead of the competition?
CR: We scout and adopt advanced new technologies and provide education and access to bleeding-edge methods and products for our customers. Our company invests tremendous resources into discovery for our clients’ benefit, and we have a lot of experience in integrating and deploying those new technologies. Our role is one of an innovation-driven value-added reseller and systems integrator. We partner with the customer to deliver new or niche technology utilizing best-practice methods and supported by phenomenal service. Our organization performs extensive work in the government sector where performance and capability are the utmost concern. This market space allows us to deliver truly unique high performing solutions.
Our biggest competition arises when a company decides to handle a project internally and build it themselves, as the innovation and uniqueness of our product offering mean that we really have no direct external competition in our marketplace.
SD: What do you think are the worst cyberthreats out there today?
CR: The worst cyberthreat to any organization is the internal human component because they can provide the easiest entry point, even unintentionally. It’s this fact that makes education of the workforce so vital. Real-world training in an environment that mirrors production is paramount to meeting this need.
Government actors and the large enterprise level groups that target our clients are becoming more prolific and emboldened. These entities continue to raise the stakes, and along with it the minimum proficiency required to remain vigilant against their incursions. We support a lot of Department of Defense groups and high-tech IP companies. The number of attacks constantly waged against these entities is just phenomenal.
SD: Where do you think cybersecurity is headed now that we’re living through this pandemic?
CR: Cybersecurity is still in an early adopter or a chasm-crossing technology; there’s so much room left for innovation. It is still a greenfield in a lot of areas, with companies like Traceable, Ixia, and Scythe continuing to expand our capabilities with the introduction of new solutions. I think the AI-based machine learning constructs, things that IBM and some of our partners are working on, are going to significantly shape the path of innovation over the next couple of years.
Just look at the stock market and you can see the rampant uncertainty and speculation in the cybersecurity arena. It is an ever-evolving moving target, with many innovations yet to come. Our company stands at the front lines of the conflict and remains vigilant to adapt and grow as we support our customers and help them understand the changing Cyber Security Automation landscape.