October 10, 2017

Cygilant: A Cybersecurity Force for an Overwhelmed Market

Cygilant President, CEO, and Co-Founder Vijay Basani says, "For every big story that you see in the news like Equifax, hundreds of stories that aren't reported happen on a daily basis. For mid-market organizations, a security breach could be catastrophic." 

Now more than ever, cybersecurity sits in the forefront of our collective psyche. Equifax revealed last month that cybercriminals accessed data to approximately 143 million U.S. customers, including at least 209,000 credit cards. And on September 25, Deloitte announced that hackers gained access to the firm’s global email server, and potentially had access to the said server since late last year.

The need for a reliable cybersecurity infrastructure is only getting more desperate with time, and according to Basani, the cybersecurity industry is woefully unprepared for the future. 

“Given the complexity of cybersecurity in the market today, we are almost 1 million people short in the market [of people who have cybersecurity skills], and that number, by the way, is expected to grow to 1.8 million by 2020,” Basani told us. The United States accounts for a third of that figure.

Cygilant aims to be an overwhelming force in an overwhelmed cybersecurity market. The company equips organizations with 24/7/365 cybersecurity monitoring, as well as vulnerability and patch management services through a combination of software and trained security analysts. The company’s platform, SOCVue, operates under a Security as a Service model.

Cygilant is also the new name for EiQ Networks. A combination of “cyber” and “vigilant,” the name change is part of a rebranding effort for the company to position itself as a midmarket defender against hackers. Simultaneously, the Boston-based company raised $7M in funding led by Arrowroot Capital. In the time of WannaCry and Equifax, investing in Boston’s growing security industry comes as no surprise.

“Our goal here is to make it so our customers are no longer an easy target. We make sure you don't become low-hanging fruit because there are 12 million easy targets out there. We create a hard-to-break environment.”

SOCVue does not protect a company’s environment directly. Rather, its monitoring works to detect and address system vulnerabilities before they turn problematic. When a red flag goes off, the human side of the team investigates further, in order to determine whether or not there’s a security incident – as well as how to quickly mitigate potential damage.  

SOCVue Vulnerability Management
SOCVue Vulnerability Management.

The 170-person team maintains offices in Boston, Vancouver, and India in order to respond to threats around-the-clock, with about 50 employees local to Boston. 

They’ve come a long way since Basani founded the company with his brother in 2002. When they founded EiQ Networks, they were responding to a need for firewall analysis. But after entering the market, SOX regulations increased as a result of the infamous Enron scandal. This led to more and more companies looking for real-time IT monitoring – leading to the birth of the log management space, as well as some of the initial success for EiQ. 

Basani is a serial entrepreneur, who has a knack for identifying challenges and building companies to address them. He founded WebManage Technologies (a content management company) in 1996, which was acquired by Network Appliance. He then founded AppIQ, a company acquired by HP in 2005, before starting EiQ. 

Cygilant originally focused its business on enterprise and government-level sales, but changed its focus to the midmarket in the last few years, and the recent rebranding reflects the continued growth, evolution, and refinement of the company’s vision. It’s not just about a name; it’s about bringing Fortune 500-level security to the companies that need it most.

And make no mistake – a cybersecurity breach has the potential to be devastating for companies. Basani estimates that between regulatory, insurance, investigation, and notification costs, damages could easily exceed $5M for a midmarket organization. The challenge of staffing cannot be overstated.

“You can't just go and hire one or two or three people to handle cybersecurity. You need an army of people to do the right thing, and manage all of these applications to provide the human intelligence needed to address the challenges that we face today.”

It’s an army that’s simply unaffordable for non-Fortune 500 organizations. With Cygilant, Basani aims to protect these companies that have both everything to lose and fewer resources to defend themselves with. Cygilant aims to be the cybersecurity team for companies everywhere.

“We know how to analyze the information. We know how to detect any suspicious behavior and provide that human intelligence to detect issues in a timely manner. We can determine the impact of suspicious activity and provide you with an alleviation guide – all at a price point that is extremely affordable. That is the value we bring to the market.

Images courtesy of Cygilant, and via Cygilant's Facebook page.

Alexander Culafi is a Staff Writer for VentureFizz. You can follow him on Twitter @culafia.

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