Regional Sales Director
Vulnerability Assessment, Visibility, In-Depth Analysis. These are the 3 pillars on which the monumental task of security management resides on.
In the current day and age, the threat environment suggests that it’s not just a good idea to conduct a cybersecurity vulnerability assessment, but rather a core requirement for any organization that intends to protect critical data and ensure that its networks and systems aren't exposed to cyberattacks. Failing to do so can spell the end of a company. Then again, to understand where the actual vulnerability lies, one needs to be able to see the assets prone to any. Security challenges become planet size when there is a lack of accurate visibility for incident detection and response. Visibility is downright crucial. Quite simply put, you cannot monitor or protect devices and information you can’t see. Before security teams can do anything to protect their environment, they need to see and understand what is happening or about to happen. It’s only then the analysis part comes in, which outlines and prioritizes the risks enabling better decision making. However, all 3 parameters combined cannot be looked after by a specialist. It takes more than a specialist, rather, an all rounder to lay waste to the security threats an organization struggles with.
Based out of San Jose, California, Skybox Security brings to the table an exceptional Cybersecurity Management Software that extends across highly complex networks, including those in physical, virtual, cloud and operational technology (OT) environments. By integrating with more than 140 networking and security technologies, the company’s broad platform, the Skybox Security Suite, enables organizations to reduce security risks that attackers can locate and exploit, such as device misconfigurations, policy violations, and exposed and unpatched vulnerabilities. We got to talking with David Joseph, the Regional Sales Director for India, and collected volumes of this opinion over the current security landscape in India, and how Skybox is doing its bit to help businesses.
In conversation with David Joseph, Regional Sales Director-India, Skybox Security
While organizations are increasingly aware of the importance of cybersecurity, most are struggling to define and implement the required security measures. How does Skybox Security help customers to navigate past complexities and take the best action?
At the core of our capabilities and expertise, we bring together disparate data — from on-prem and cloud infrastructures, security controls, assets, vulnerabilities and threats; we analyze this collected data from multiple perspectives. All these elements impact one another, therefore we make sure that each analysis takes place in awareness of that context. This approach gives organizations clear and actionable insights of what they’re trying to protect and what’s causing risk, so they can not only act quickly but intelligently.
Organizations are still reeling from the effects COVID-19. Clearly, it has impacted their ways of working with the introduction to work-from-home, cloud services, video conferencing, etc. What kind of solutions does Skybox provide that addresses the unique challenges customers are facing right now?
The brisk shift to work-from-home culture is obviously having major
impacts on the network infrastructure, particularly the VPNs and routers enabling remote connections, use of cloud services, firewall changes, etc. These changes should be setting off alarms in the minds of anyone responsible for security policies and regulatory compliance.
This is where we come into the picture and automate the analysis of those VPNs and firewalls for rule, access and configuration compliance enabling a quick-fix of any issue. We can also secure rule changes from the outset and manage rule recertification to continuously maintain compliance. At Skybox, we can model the hybrid and multi-cloud networks to give what is needed for the visibility of a dynamic cloud environment.
All this, with the intent to secure business continuity that organizations are focused on right now.
The threat landscape has become increasingly hostile during the COVID-19 crisis, taking advantage of distraction, confusion and concern. How is Skybox helping organizations to counteract a volatile and capable threat landscape?
I’d say vulnerability prioritization is the key. Not only can we create the data foundation for vulnerability analysis by collecting scan data and filling in their blind spots, we can also use the entire context we talked about earlier to focus remediation where it matters most.
At skybox, we can model the hybrid and multi-cloud networks to give what is needed for the visibility of a dynamic cloud environment
We use several factors to prioritize vulnerabilities; exploitability and exposure are among the most important. Threat intelligence from our research lab tells us if exploits are available or used in the wild. At the same time, modelling and attack simulations show how a vulnerability is exposed to a threat origin or another compromised asset. This sets clear, focused remediation priorities and also helps in incident response at the instance of an attack.
Please tell us about one of Skybox’s client ventures that rescued the business with sheer promptness.
Sure. We had a financial services customer where we were fairly recently deployed. This was around the time the BlueKeep exploits started surfacing, i.e., last autumn. It was the weekend and the CIO was at a barbeque. He reached out to the Skybox team to determine their level of exposure. No later than two minutes, we were able to confirm that they had 140 instances of the vulnerability with no exposure. They said that moment alone paid for the investment in Skybox. Of course, the CIO got back to the grill!
I would recall another such instance; a huge retailer, that was drowning in firewall audits for PCI. They would spend three months with six full-time employees to gather all the relevant data, analyse and report on it. With Skybox, they could do it in two weeks with a single resource. Imagine how much more they can accomplish with that time saved, and that’s what we really love to see.
As present draws attention, there is no high priority for any organization than health, security, and safety of it community. What business measures has Skybox taken to ensure complete service delivery and health of the community?
No sooner had the world become aware of the impending crisis, we released a comprehensive business continuity plan and formed a crisis leadership team responsible for that plan’s implementation. The team includes executive leadership and a representative from each region, as well as each functional area of our organization such as account management, business operations, etc.
We’ve kept our actions aligned to the level of threat, the level of impact and potential for escalation specific to each region.
Skybox was somewhat fortunate as telecommuting practices were already in place for large portions of the company before COVID-19. So we had the infrastructure largely in place to collaborate securely and effectively to meet our customers’ needs without compromising with the safety of our employees in the slightest.
We also leverage multiple, geographically diverse datacenters, as well as public cloud partners to deliver our service. This diversity in infrastructure partnerships gives us the flexibility to recoil in case the supply chains are disrupted in an extended crisis. Our network and security operation centers are also managed in multiple, geographically diverse sites globally, ensuring complete resilience of our systems. Skybox also has a secure resilience plan in place to protect data and applications while maintaining the integrity of our customers’ data.
What is the current state of regulatory compliance and how is Skybox equipped to handle the imbalances for itself as well as for its clients?
Many things have changed over the last months — regulatory compliance isn’t one of them. The requirements are still there even if businesses are under increased pressure to alter operations in order to enable work from home, change business models and make difficult decisions to weather the storm.
There have been some rare but notable cases from the regulatory authorities delaying penalty payments and other glimpses of flexibility. However, companies shouldn’t be relying on compassion as business strategy. Their networks are undergoing huge changes to enable remote workforces, and often these changes are happening very quickly. Each of those changes presents a risk for a violation. The only way to make sense of the network is through visibility and analysis — collecting data, modeling it to provide context, running simulations and analysis to check if compliance measures designed in policy are actually in practice throughout the company. That’s the type of solution we provide, automating it for daily insight or when it comes time for a formal audit.
“We took home sc awards for best vulnerability management and best risk & policy management solutions two years in a row”
Tell us about Skybox’s achievements and accolades in the market. Which one has been special and why?
We’ve had a string of big wins over the last several years in terms of industry recognition. We took home SC Awards for best vulnerability management and best risk & policy management solutions two years in a row. Winning in multiple categories also shows the breadth of the solution doesn’t compromise its quality.
But I think for Skybox the most important recognition is on a smaller scale, where there’s no trophy or champagne toast. For our sales reps and engineers, professional services and customer care teams, the best achievements come when you’ve solved a problem — especially a persistent problem - for a customer. We really believe in transforming what’s possible in cybersecurity. We want our customers to have the assurance they need to pursue innovation securely. This only becomes more critical in the ‘new normal’ where change will be constant and creative solutions to problems will be prized. We want to be part of that solution, part of that future.
Having delivered the best so far, what more do you think can Skybox Security improve on in the near future? Tell about your future plans for the firm.
Obviously expanding our support for cloud technologies is very important to meet our customers where their business needs are now and where they’re headed. We regularly seek input from our customers on what types of development they’d like to see not just to fit an immediate need, but grow with them into the future.