Interview With John Keister – Mixmode

Interview With John Keister – Mixmode
Aviva Zacks
Posted: October 23, 2019

Safety Detective’s Aviva Zacks had the chance to sit down with John Keister, CEO of MixMode. She found out how his company can protect us from Zero-Day threats.

Safety Detective: How did you get into cybersecurity and what do you love about it?

John Keister: In the 1990s, I was a founder/COO of a Web search company. Our technology team reported to me and they were largely building their own tools to deal with DDoS attacks and other threats. So my teams had experience with security although we were not a security company. Fast forward 20 years and I was researching the cybersecurity market for opportunities to start another company. During this process, the MixMode opportunity came along. I love the industry because I get to work with very smart people and talk to very smart customers every day. We are all working together as a cyber community to create a safer environment for businesses to operate, so there is a sense of a “common purpose” in the industry to make life very difficult for bad actors.

SD: What are some industries that use MixMode’s technology and why?

JK: Today, security teams, spanning every vertical market, including healthcare, tech, finance, and government, are understaffed and under-resourced. They are looking for ways to leverage technology to make their teams more productive and efficient — and to improve their security programs. MixMode helps these entities to leverage proprietary AI to provide detections on zero-day non-fingerprinted threats across cloud and on-premise environments, and to correlate these threats to help them prioritize their work.

SD: How can MixMode’s products and solutions protect its customers from threats?

JK: Using patented AI developed originally for projects delivered to DARPA and the U.S. DoD, MixMode is the most advanced Network Security Analytics solution available in the industry today. MixMode ingests and analyzes any network data stream, whether in the cloud, on-premise, or in hybrid environments, to build an evolving baseline of network activity, correlate and prioritize the work for security teams. MixMode leverages patented, unsupervised, third-wave AI to provide predictive insight into anomalous activity, correlate and identify threats, and reduce alert noise, all in a single pane of glass.

SD: What is the number one threat in cybersecurity today?

JK: Among the most pervasive issues in cybersecurity today is the rise of Zero-Day non-fingerprinted attacks. Recently, The Ponemon Institute reported that by 2021 there will be one new zero-day exploit every day, compared to 2015 when there was about one per week. Other solutions provide companies users with intelligence from known threat intel and while this information can be helpful to catch known attacks, there are very few (if any) solutions available today outside of MixMode that are truly predictive and can effectively catch attacks in real-time. MixMode is able to build an intelligent, generative baseline of a client’s network within 7 days (far better than most tools that take 6-24 months to tune and train), and when a Zero-Day non-fingerprinted vulnerability is exploited, MixMode is the only solution that can pinpoint and surface the attack in real-time.

SD: How will the cyberthreat landscape change in the next 5 years?

JK: As mentioned, zero-day, non-fingerprinted attacks are on the rise. The industry needs effective tools to address this issue since it is the number one concern of security professionals and the cause of countless breaches per year. We all hear that we must fight the AI that bad actors use with effective AI in our cybersecurity platforms. Second, the rise of alert volumes generated by rules-based ML products is crippling security teams. Security teams are constantly under-resourced and I doubt this will change in the next five years. Security platforms must be able to demonstrate that they make security teams more efficient and productive (not just talk the talk, but walk the walk). And third, the industry needs effective platforms that provide visibility and correlation across cloud, on-premise, and hybrid environments — this is very difficult to do efficiently at scale. We believe that more advanced forms of AI that combine the best of supervised and unsupervised systems (like MixMode) will help the industry make progress against these issues.