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CrowdStrike will continue to accelerate customer momentum, expand international footprint

Founded with a vision to revolutionise security approach of organisations, CrowdStrike is bullish on expansion, leveraging its innovations. In an exclusive interaction with Express Computer, Jagdish Mahapatra, Managing Director – Asia, CrowdStrike, shares more details

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How has been the growth journey for CrowdStrike so far? Please shed some light on significant milestones
When George Kurtz and Dmitri Alperovitch founded CrowdStrike in 2011, they started the company with a mission to revolutionise the entire approach that companies take to security. They saw the inefficiencies and shortcomings of the established products and solutions dominating the cyber market and decided to disrupt the status quo by building an entirely new approach. They envisioned a way to better stop breaches and effectively combat the cyber threats by harnessing the power of the cloud. At the time, the security industry thought he was “crazy” as no one leveraged the cloud to host security data – it was perceived as far too risky and far too disruptive. With relentless drive to innovate and steadfast commitment, CrowdStrike pioneered the first endpoint security platform that is fully cloud-based to break the vicious cycle of ineffective protection and continuous hacks that many businesses and government organisations struggled with.

This innovation disrupted the multi-billion dollar endpoint security market with innovative technology, services delivery, and intelligence gathering. CrowdStrike’s technology ensures that organisations can not only defend themselves, but also do so in an efficient and future-proof manner. Today, the company continues to drive major innovations around AI/machine learning, behavioural-based prevention and detection, etc, to stay ahead of adversaries.

While many companies fell victims to the massive WannaCry and NotPetya attacks, CrowdStrike customers remained protected with the company’s technology.

There is no shortage of validators for CrowdStrike’s success, including explosive global growth with nearly 500 per cent growth in new endpoint protection platform (EPP) subscriptions, year-over-year, and the company being called in to investigate the biggest hack in American political history – the DNC attack prior to the 2016 election.

In the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant, we were positioned highest for the ability to execute and furthest to the right for the completeness of vision in the Visionaries quadrant.

What efforts are being put to build a strong business for CrowdStrike in the Asian region in 2019 and beyond?
On the heels of massive demand for our platform, CrowdStrike has experienced rapid growth, adding new customers across the region. The company has expanded presence and the growing team will support and accelerate the substantial market demand for the CrowdStrike Falcon platform, threat intelligence, and response services.

Looking at the changing cyber security landscape and the way organisations are riding on the digital wave, how is CrowdStrike making the digital transformation journey safe and secure?
Financial institutions are often a target across the globe. Despite pouring billions of dollars into security, financial institutions continue to be the number one target of cybercriminals. The digital transformation undertaken by the financial services industry is contributing to this challenge. It has opened new doors for attackers, making customer data management and protection increasingly difficult. In addition, tighter regulatory compliance adds more pressure to already stretched financial services security teams.

What sort of competitive advantage CrowdStrike enjoys in this region; how are you leveraging the power of emerging technologies like AI ad ML?
The promise of AI and machine learning is that you can automate the detection of a never before seen threat. The idea here is that you don’t rely on signatures; ML will look at techniques and attack types that have been used previously and you predict with confidence a new attack based on math algorithms. Making AI work is all about the data. We train our algorithms on one trillion events a week, one of the industry’s largest threat telemetries, enabling AI’s efficacy. Because of our cloud native architecture, we are able to crowdsource protection to our entire customer community as soon as a threat is detected.

With your focus on providing next-gen cyber security solutions to enterprise customers as well as government, what sort of innovation is being brought into your offerings?
In December last year, CrowdStrike completed its second evaluation by MITRE’s ATT&CK evaluations program. The CrowdStrike Falcon platform was evaluated for its ability to detect attack techniques employed by GOTHIC PANDA (also known as APT3), a sophisticated adversary affiliated with the Chinese government. CrowdStrike is the first endpoint protection company to integrate the MITRE ATT&CK framework into its product and has been participating in this evaluation since its inception.

Every aspect of CrowdStrike’s business – from the cloud-based architecture of the Falcon platform to the company’s approach to uncovering the adversaries – is rooted in innovation. CrowdStrike continues to set a new standard in endpoint security, including the application of AI/ML for unmatched prevention of malware and malware-free attacks. The company remains true to its founding mission – change the status quo, replace the old AV behemoths that can’t stand up to modern threats, and drive the next-generation of security practices to market. CrowdStrike has earned leadership rankings from the top three analyst firms – IDC, Forrester, and Gartner, including being named a Visionary in this year’s Gartner Magic Quadrant on Endpoint Protection Platforms.

We are witnessing new levels of sophistication being displayed by cyber criminals and security challenges faced by the cloud generation. Are you re-looking at security architecture?
A big concern is with the industry; we all talk about malware, but we don’t talk about what happens when the attacker doesn’t use malware. If an attacker steals credentials, it won’t be detected as they’re looking for malware. We need to understand the requirement to prevent malware, but also understand the requirement to have a very strong detection architecture in place, so that you know what’s going on in the network. We have to ensure basic hygiene, making sure that the machines are patched. Moreover, we also need to use the right security product.

In your bid to build strategic alliances, have you adopted any specific go-to-market strategy that is aligned with the company’s business objectives?
CrowdStrike has over 50 integrations with strategic technology alliances. The company will continue to further accelerate its customer momentum and the rapid development of its partner ecosystem to meet the spiking demand for its next-generation endpoint protection technology, intelligence and services. We will continue to expand our international footprint, heavily investing in partnerships and alliances in critical regions such as the UK, Germany, Benelux, India, Singapore, Japan, etc.

Any specific partner program being run that focuses on building capabilities and competencies of partners, so that they can address customers’ complex digital challenges?
CrowdStrike continues to evolve its Elevate Partner Program with new categories in MSSP, cloud-workload procurements, and OEM/embedded partnerships. CrowdStrike works with its partners to enable a “whole-ecosystem” approach based on six paths to partner engagement and profitability:

  • Channel: Reselling through a rich program that focuses on the product first
  • Technology alliances: Providing out-of-the-box integrations between the CrowdStrike technology and other innovative technologies to create complete customer solutions
  • MSSPs: Delivering value-added services to customers with CrowdStrike as an enabling technology
  • OEMs: Embedding CrowdStrike technology into third-party hardware, software, and service solutions
  • CrowdStrike platform: Building applications that based on data from the Falcon platform deliver high-value insights to customer environments
  • Cloud procurements: Leveraging CrowdStrike to empower security teams with improved visibility and control for cloud-based infrastructure and workloads.

What’s your outlook for 2019 and beyond?
Looking back at 2018, too many organisations have been getting breached. This won’t slow down in 2019, so we need to challenge traditional thinking which clearly isn’t working. We’ll continue to see ransomware and supply chain attacks and traditional AV technologies won’t be able to stop them. It’s clear that a new set standards for endpoint protection is needed.

If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]


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