ESG's Jon Oltsik talks with CMO Jerry Skurla of Bay Dynamics about SOAPA and Cybersecurity. This is part 2 of a 2-part series.
Read the related ESG Blog: SOAPA Video with Bay Dynamics (Part 2)
Part one of this two-part series is available here
Announcer: The following is an ESG 360˚ video.
Jon: We're back with Jerry Skurla, CMO of Bay Dynamics. Welcome back.
Jerry: Thanks, Jon.
Jon: Let's talk about SOAPA, and one of the big, I think, components of SOAPA, and I see a lot of momentum around it, is artificial intelligence machine learning, very confusing for customers. So, when you go and talk to customers, how do you articulate machine learning in a way that makes sense and talks about the value that customers can gain from it?
Jerry: Yup, yup. No, no. No, no, great question. What machine learning really does is, it helps people understand what's normal, okay, and because that's hard. Any Security professional wants to know, "What's normal so that I can detect the things that are abnormal." Machine learning goes the next step and helps people with, what's normal, what's abnormal but okay, and then, what's abnormal but dangerous.
So, for example, when machine learning detects a lot of things that it sees as abnormal but okay, humans then get to intervene. So, normally, what's okay is, it's a business process that's been happening for years and years, some security rule was put in place that this behavior always triggers, but it's actually okay. So, machine learning can, one, learn from the human as a coach to tell it that, "That's okay. Don't alarm on that anymore." And it also makes it easy on the Security team because they don't have to actually go back and take the rule out or change the rule. So, it's really a mentor-and-apprentice kind of relationship.
Jon: Wow. That's, yeah, that's one of the things that people don't realize, is that strong machine learning is always learning. So, that's a good lesson to learn. And one of the other things about SOAPA, Jerry, as you know, is it's about technology integration. So, talk to me about how Bay Dynamics integrates with existing technologies and makes them better.
Jerry: Sure. Everybody would like to make better use of their existing investments. I'll talk about DLP, for example. DLP is a very powerful technology that's had a tremendous upsurge in the last couple years. It's helping people move to the cloud safely because they can keep on-premise data on premise like it's supposed to. And it also has a role to play in GDPR, as well.
Jerry: One of the challenges that's always happened with DLP is, you write a policy, and lots of alerts trigger...
Jon: It's noisy, yeah.
Jerry: ...frequently, because the business policy can't be fine-grained enough to reflect the reality of the business. Okay? So, you know, for example, in working with Symantec, one of our...our main OEM partner, we've helped one of the largest banks in the United States evaluate 10,000 DLP incidents in a single day.
Jerry: In the past, their team, a very healthy-sized team, couldn't get through that, so they would start the next day with 5,000 from the previous day and another 10,000 more. Because of the integration of ICA, the analytics solution, with DLP, they were able to clear all of those 10,000 alarms before lunch.
Jerry: So, that's a tremendous time saver, and it lets those people now focus on more strategic, forward-thinking types of security roles. And I think that's something, that that's a promise that SOAPA delivers to everybody. So much of security has been the night watchman, checking things, versus the proactive view of, "How do I strategically prevent the bad guys from getting in?" And SOAPA has the promise to give people those capabilities in their careers.
Jon: So, in essence, you're reducing a lot of the noise in DLP and getting to actionable intelligence. Are there other areas of integration, either now or you're looking at for 2018, that are similar?
Jerry: Yeah. A very important integration that we already have, and is becoming also popular, is with CASB tools because, as I said, business-wise, a lot of people are deciding, in 2018, "How much more information are we going to put out on the cloud?" So, data in cloud apps becomes even more important. And to be able to integrate with, and to be able to see the behavior of people accessing cloud data, as well as on-premise data, and make conclusions, and then recommendations based on that behavioral analytics makes people feel safer as they take advantage of the cost savings of going to the cloud.
Jerry: And then, the cloud CASB also has a big role in GDPR as well because, again, it's all about the individual and their data, regardless of where it's located.
Jon: Yeah, and that's what I like. I mean, the thought about SOAPA is that you take one technology and another technology, and they're additive, they're helping each other. And that's what I like about what you're saying, is these are helper apps. These technologies we've used for years are all spitting out tons of messages, and we have to get better at understanding, contextually, what one message means to the other, what the priorities are, and then sort through the noise, and that's what you're doing.
Jerry: Yeah, no, the context really does become the key.
Jon: No question.
Jerry: Because you just, you see something happen, but if it's on a Thursday when a CFO happens to be in Hong Kong on business travel, attempting to get a certain purchase order approved in his or her accounting system, is very different than that coming from Eastern Europe, or Rio, or some place like that.
Jon: Or on a Tuesday.
Jerry: Well, absolutely on a Tuesday. CFOs never approve things on a Tuesday.
Jon: Or, especially in Hong Kong.
Jerry: That is true.
Jon: So, let me ask you a final question, an easy one for you.
Jon: So, you're in the throes of seeing what SOAPA can do. You're doing a lot of integrations with other vendors, with users. Where do you think this goes? Where does SOAPA go over the next year or two?
Jerry: I think it continues to evolve as an important glue capability. There's no doubt that point solutions in the past have always been the sparkly thing in front of every CISO's eye, and I think that's changed dramatically in the year or two. They've got tons of technology that's already there. They can get far more value out of it. And I think a SOAPA-type architecture with analytics as a key element of that can make existing tools much more powerful, can make existing people much more effective, and it can have a serious impact on reducing that skills gap.
Jon: Yeah, let's hope so. I mean, that's really... Those benefits are really why we're pushing SOAPA so hard.
So, thank you very much for participating. And please stay tuned. We'll have more SOAPA videos and more content in 2018.