Cybersecurity, Coronavirus, and the Joys of Giving Back

Executive Profile

Today we sit down with our Founder & CEO, Marc Castejon, to discuss his own professional journey, the current state of cybersecurity, and everything in between.
Q: Can you share a bit of your background with us? What were you doing before you founded Silent Breach?
Marc: After earning my graduate degree in computer science, I began my career as a developer at a small startup in the south of France. Over the course of 20 years I eventually made it to VP of R&D for Stratacache, a digital signage company based in Dayton, OH. This provided me with the opportunity to work on projects for global brands and American multi-nationals in retail (Walmart, Target, Kroger), fast food (McDonalds, Wendy's, Burger King), and the telecom industry (Verizon and AT&T).

Q: What made you decide to shake things up and start a cybersecurity company?
Marc: As a developer, I've always had a particular interest in cybersecurity all the way back to the early 2000s when the field barely even existed. Fast forward to 2014, and my Yahoo! account was compromised along with 500 million other users. This was followed by a string of other high-profile breaches that continued to make headlines on an almost daily basis. When I took a closer look at the attacks, I realized they were actually rather simple hacks that could have easily been prevented with just a bit of foresight and planning. So, one year later, I opened my own company to fight back against hackers and protect companies from this growing threat. I felt that I could make a difference and make the world a better and safer place.

Q: What have you found most surprising about the cybersecurity industry?
Marc: I find it fascinating how easy it can be to break into a remote server, and how unprepared most companies are for this threat. We find that there's a strong correlation between the maturity of a company and how well they implement their cyber security program (if at all). Startups and SMEs remain largely unprepared but are still as exposed as any company on the web, if not more. Medium-sized companies which have experienced high growth are usually just as unprepared. It takes a few serious incidents for a company to deploy an organization-wide program to harden their perimeter security and actually start fighting off attacks. This cyber resilience has an upfront cost but is part of a mature approach to business continuity.

Q: What are some of the main cybersecurity challenges that companies and/or consumers are currently facing?
Marc: I would say customer education and the culture of security. Cybersecurity is a company-wide effort, and employee training as well as testing your cyber defense are key to understanding your organization's security posture. Furthermore, tools are becoming available that allow you to continuously monitor your company's attack surface but so far there is very little being done to prevent data breaches. Too many companies are still focusing on incident detection and response rather than pro-actively trying to prevent their occurrence in the first place.

Q: How do you think COVID-19 has contributed/influenced this?
Marc: Computer viruses are extremely similar to the COVID-19 virus: they spread very quickly through entities that are unprepared and continue to take experts by surprise. Preparation and response time are key factors to reducing the impact of a virus, as well as stopping it from spreading further. Reactive measures are often inefficient and prioritize damage control above all else. On the other hand, investing in preventive measures before an outbreak can be highly efficient and can potentially contain an incident before it becomes a global problem.

Q: What do the next 5 - 10 years look like for Silent Breach?
Marc: Silent Breach has grown very quickly in the past 3 years and continues to expand its global footprint. With offices in North America, Europe and Asia, our next goal will be to expand into Central and South American markets. We are also heavily investing in our product division and are currently preparing to release a suite of products in the next 12 months for the SaaS and Enterprise markets.

Q: What are your favorite things about your job?
Marc: Every once in a while, we are able to give back to the community and support causes we believe can change the world. For example, to contribute to the COVID-19 response, we decided to offer free vulnerability assessments to hospitals and healthcare workers to help them with their cybersecurity needs during the pandemic, so that they can keep focusing on saving lives. It's a great feeling to be able to help and I hope to be able to do more in the future.

Q: What would you tell those who are thinking about getting into the cybersecurity field?
Marc: Cybersecurity is a challenging and cutting-edge industry with rapidly changing rules. I believe that the current crisis will redefine the landscape and we will need more talent than ever to help address tomorrow's challenges. Stay sharp, keep studying the field and seek certifications; this will pave your way to success. Also, consider participating in bug bounty programs and discovering 0-day vulnerabilities. This is a great way to hone and demonstrate your skills with concrete and real-world scenarios. The cybersecurity industry is still in its early stages and will only continue to grow and mature over the coming years. Come along for the ride!

About Silent Breach: Silent Breach is an award-winning provider of cyber security services. Our global team provides cutting-edge insights and expertise across the Data Center, Enterprise, SME, Retail, Government, Finance, Education, Automotive, Hospitality, Healthcare and IoT industries.