With many thanks to Tony Pietrocola, President of AgileBlue, Aviva Zacks of Safety Detective found out about his company’s SOC-as-a-service.
Safety Detective: What do you love about cybersecurity?
Tony Pietrocola: The side of cybersecurity we’re on is protecting businesses, especially small and mid-sized businesses who—to be candid—really can’t protect themselves too well. In fact, I saw a statistic the other day that said almost 80 percent of small and mid-sized businesses really don’t stand a chance. So the fact that we can help them is a great thing.
SD: Tell me about your SOC-as-a-service?
TP: Our SOC-as-a-service is designed for small and mid-sized businesses because generally, they can’t hire enough and proper talent to monitor their cloud, their network, and their endpoints 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so we are able to do that for them. We have the cyber team with the technology that allows us to watch and to detect potential indicators of attacks before they’re breached. We give them a chance to understand what’s happening and hopefully a chance to either mitigate these cyberattacks or maybe beat it altogether.
SD: What industries use your services?
TP: All of them, but we focus on industries of regulation—healthcare, financial services, PCI, manufacturing, and commerce. When you look at what just happened with the Colonial Pipeline attack, or more recently the incident where somebody was trying to poison the water in San Francisco, you notice that utilities, public works, and public services are starting to bubble up, too.
SD: How does your company stay ahead of the competition?
TP: I like to think that we’re smart, hardworking people that do whatever we need to do to continue to grow our business. But we also really obsess over our customers. I got my first job out of college working for Apple, and the one message was, “It’s got to be about the customer.” I’d rather focus on them than the competition, treat them properly, support them, and show we’re an indispensable part of their IT and cyber team. I’m sure the competition is great and doing awesome things, but I’ll just focus on our customers in making sure we’re doing the right thing for them.
SD: What do you feel are the worst cyberthreats today?
TP: Unfortunately, it’s the threats you can’t see coming. When you think about ransomware which literally just leaves people completely helpless—taking their data, encrypting it, stealing it—what does a company do? The FBI is telling you not to pay the fine or ransom, but some other people are telling you to do it. Let’s say that you do pay, and they still don’t give you your data back; how does that business recover? How can they repair their brand and reputation?
I think the biggest threat is when you get emails and text messages that just don’t look right—they’re probably not. If you delete a real email from someone who needed you, they’re going to call you or email you back. If it’s just somebody out there phishing, they won’t.
My suggestion is to delete the stuff that just doesn’t look right. Unfortunately, a lot of folks are bored at work, untrained, not malicious, just negligent, and they like to click on things—and it’s the clicking of things that gets us in trouble.
SD: How do you feel the pandemic has changed the way companies are handling their security?
TP: I’m a very optimistic, positive person, but I think it’s actually changed them to not think as much about it. They went from having a corporate headquarters or a couple of offices to now having every employee’s home as an office, and the least secure thing is probably the individual endpoint—the workstation and an employee’s home. I don’t think they thought through that or a lot of people didn’t because COVID came on so quickly.
We have customers globally, so depending on where you are, cybersecurity is going to become more difficult because the attack surface just got down to the individual home. Let’s be candid. Cybercriminals are malicious, evil people, but they are also super smart. They’re going to figure out a way to get people to pay them ransom.
I think people are less prepared than ever.