Aviva Zacks of Safety Detective enjoyed her interview with Syed Abdur, VP of Product Management & Marketing at Brinqa. She got the chance to ask him about his company’s Cyber Risk Graph.
Safety Detective: What got you interested in cybersecurity?
The fascinating thing about cybersecurity as an area of study or specialization is that it requires practitioners to constantly learn and evolve with the latest in large-scale, enterprise technology. Technology is deeply embedded in modern businesses, most of which have undergone tremendous digital transformation in the past decade or so. IT is no longer a supporting function but rather a competitive advantage with businesses rushing to adopt and incorporate the latest advancements or risk falling behind. Cybersecurity has to keep pace with this breakneck speed of technological advancement, making accomplished cybersecurity practitioners some of the most well-informed, relevant, and sought-after technology professionals today.
SD: Tell me about Brinqa’s technology in layman’s terms.
Brinqa helps businesses implement a risk-centric, automated, and knowledge-driven approach to solving critical cybersecurity challenges, such as vulnerability management, application security, and cloud security, by combining data from 100+ disparate tools and programs into a Knowledge Graph purpose-built for cybersecurity. Knowledge Graphs are the data architecture behind some of the most prominent technologies of today. Pioneered as the data framework behind Google Search, the concept has since been adopted by other technologies that depend on context-rich, relationship-intensive datasets, including LinkedIn and Facebook. The common thread between these technologies is DATA. Not just the unprecedented volume, but also the high level of complexity of the information. These datasets are always changing and the mechanisms to collect, represent, and analyze this information have to evolve with them. This is also true for modern enterprise technology environments and the cybersecurity infrastructure designed to protect it, making Knowledge Graphs a natural fit for solving cybersecurity problems.
Brinqa’s Knowledge Graph—The Cyber Risk Graph—is a real-time representation of an organization’s technology infrastructure and applications, delineation of interconnects between IT assets and business services, and a unified knowledge source for cybersecurity decisions. Having a single, unified knowledge source for cybersecurity streamlines communication across varied stakeholders, departments, and regions; and delivers a unified platform for data analysis, insights, and decision-making.
SD: What types of companies use your technology?
A significant percentage of Brinqa customers are large Fortune100-type organizations. Current Brinqa customers include some of the largest enterprises in retail, healthcare, insurance, and logistics verticals. These are businesses with a massive technology footprint and they need a solution like Brinqa to make sense of all the data coming out of their IT and security infrastructure.
However, in recent years we have also seen an uptick in demand from smaller, technology-focused organizations. Any business that has a strong dependency on their technology infrastructure has a need for a solution like Brinqa. Our smaller customers range from internet-based businesses, technology companies, and mobile-first solution providers.
SD: What is the worst cyberthreat out there?
Unfortunately, there is no one right answer to this question. The most dangerous cyberthreat for business varies based on their industry, region, and technology footprint—to name just a few factors. We advocate a risk-focused approach for solving cybersecurity problems for our customers. Such an approach forces organizations to identify and evaluate all the internal and external factors that contribute to cyber risk, and helps businesses focus on those threats that pose the biggest danger to their unique technology profile.
If I had to pick one area that most organizations struggle with and that consistently contributes to the most dangerous risks, it would be asset management. Without accurate and comprehensive asset management, organizations lack the visibility and knowledge necessary to protect themselves from cyberthreats. We cannot secure what we cannot see.
SD: How has the Covid-19 pandemic changed cybersecurity forever?
The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated and highlighted some systemic challenges that most cybersecurity programs and organizations struggle with. The notion of the traditional enterprise with well-defined boundaries has been consistently eroding for many years, and cybersecurity policies and practices have been slowly evolving to address this change. The pandemic has forced large sections of the workforce to work remotely, accelerating the need for cybersecurity solutions to be re-architected for a highly distributed, decentralized, and dynamic technology infrastructure. In the long run, this should have a positive impact on the industry—resulting in more dynamic, fault-tolerant cybersecurity programs and solutions.