Content threat protection technology has become imperative for organizations to achieve compliance in many areas of business. Deep Content Inspection when coupled with Data Loss Prevention (DLP) functionality provides IT security teams with a 360- degree view of information flow across the organization’s boundary, along with granular control of security policy to enable automated enforcement. The technology ultimately enables highly secure digital collaboration; mitigating advanced information borne threats as well as data leaks or unauthorized data acquisition. With a continuous focus on innovation, Clearswift delivers its advanced content protection technology to government, defense and multi-national financial organizations around the world.
In an interview with CIO LOOK, Dr. Guy Bunker, CTO of Clearswift discusses the company’s technology portfolio and why it is trusted by some of the most sensitive intelligence agencies across the globe.
Below are the highlights of the interview between Guy Bunker and CIO LOOK:
What led to the inception of the company?
The company can trace its roots back to 1982 when email was emerging into the business world. We effectively developed the first email application for MS-DOS before moving onto providing email security solutions for both Windows and UNIX. However, in 2012, the company was acquired and significant investment injected into the business for technology innovation, together with a new vision and focus on Advanced Threat Protection and Data Loss Prevention (DLP).
How do your services differ from the other companies’ offerings?
Clearswift has created a series of nextgeneration email and web security solutions which also overcome the problems of traditional DLP solutions. Our Adaptive Redaction technology enables content to be changed on-thefly as it crosses the organizational boundary, preventing the need to stop and block content, and hinder communication flow. The Deep Content Inspection engine built into all Clearswift products enables A-DLP to seamlessly remove advanced information borne threats, such as ransomware delivered in weaponized documents, from inbound/outbound email and web downloads/uploads. Our advanced Information Governance solution enables the ability to track and trace information at a sub-file level, creating a previously unseen level of granular protection. Our recent innovations enable the redaction of text (black box) from images, not just from documents. Antisteganography technology can be deployed to prevent data loss as well as protection from next-generation malware hidden in innocuous-looking images that executes when inside a network.
Give a detailed description of the featured person’s influence over the company and the industry
I joined Clearswift in 2012 as part of an executive turnaround team and was tasked with creating a new technology vision which could be implemented to help reinvigorate the Clearswift brand. By looking into the heritage of the organization and at the existing technology, the idea of Adaptive Redaction was created. With several years’ experience in DLP, I understood where the shortcomings were with traditional solutions and that with Clearswift, there was the opportunity to change the game. Traditional DLP is about stopping and blocking communication which slows collaboration and creates business risk, however, overzealous policies frequently led to false-positive events whereby communication was unnecessarily halted, resulting in the solutions being disabled – creating data loss risk. A-DLP was developed to remove only the smallest piece of information from an email or a document which broke policy as it traveled across the organizational boundary via email or the web, while leaving the rest to be delivered unhindered, overcoming the issues of traditional DLP and the pesky ’false positive’. In conjunction with A-DLP, I oversaw the acquisition of two small companies which enabled Clearswift to move our DLP solution onto the endpoint as well as the gateways, resulting in inclusion to the Gartner analyst Magic Quadrant for Enterprise DLP. I also led the innovation of our Information Governance solution, which can track and trace information across the organization and its boundary. Rather than tracking just files, it can track the information inside the files, protecting classified information at a more granular scale than was previously possible.
What marketing activities do you implement to reach out to your potential customers?
The change in legislation, particularly around GDPR, saw our digital marketing strategy move from a push to a pull model. Our team works together cohesively on a broad cross-section of marketing activity including events, digital campaigns, events and PR programs. We work closely with our PR agency to create appropriate, engaging content including positioning Thought Leadership articles in relevant publications, as well as being subject matter experts on cybersecurity stories in the press. We also work with our partners on events with their customers as well as attending and speaking at a variety of industry events around the globe such as RSA and NIAS.
How do you cope with the volatile technological changes in the market to make your solutions resourceful remain relevant?
The key to keeping up with technological change is to keep up with our customers and partners which helps us to understand the new threats they’re facing, where their businesses are going, how we can best support them to keep their critical information safe, no matter where it is stored or what digital collaboration channels it flows through. We work very closely with multiple defense organizations around the world which enables us to understand the next generation of threats entering the landscape. We can then adjust our innovation and roadmap strategy to address these advanced threats, bringing solutions to the market promptly.
Describe your company and its cutting-edge solutions which address all the needs of your customers
Clearswift delivers innovative email, and web security solutions with an emphasis on advanced threat protection and Adaptive Data Loss Prevention (A-DLP). Consistent use of our technology across email, the web, and endpoint ensure there are no weak links in the chain which is good information security.
What are your company’s future aspirations? What strategies are you undertaking to achieve those goals?
The future aspiration of the company is to continue to grow by delivering innovative solutions which meet our customer’s needs. We will continue to drive innovation in R&D through encouraging ’side projects’ looking at some of the most challenging information security issues and how they can be solved, which can then be productized and included in our solutions. We also continue to invest and work with our partners across the globe to drive our sales growth.
Could you throw some light on your mission statement?
Making information safe for CNI: Around 70% of our global customers are classified as Critical National Infrastructure, with the majority in government, defense and finance. We understand the special needs of these customers where are strong requirements for keeping critical information safe from both advanced cyber attacks and data loss (or breach) events.