I’ve been covering security for much of my life. At one time, my family owned one of the largest electronic security companies in the world. I wore a badge, and I’ve held a variety of security and security leadership positions over the years. As security advances, you reach points where the technology and practices are no longer adequate for the threats. This tends to result in a few new security solutions and the decline of the last set of companies.
We have largely moved away from McAfee and Symantec which used to dominate this space. Microsoft is now a major player (or THE major player), and IBM is still a force to be reckoned with, but with generative AI starting to weave its way into the attack landscape, there is a growing need for a new toolset. That toolset could consist of aggressive DL-based platforms like those sold by BlackBerry’s Cylance, or Israel’s Deep Instinct, or it could come from someone new.
The issue for someone new is how to get into the market, but I think I’ve run into a very interesting new security company that may be uniquely positioned to handle the security threats of tomorrow’s generative AI-driven tools. The question is, can it bring its solution to market? The firm’s name is Bear Systems, and this is why it stands out.
Modular open approach
Most security solutions are insular in that they work well with their own tools, but should you prefer, or have already recently purchased an adequate point solution, chances are you’ll have to replace it prematurely to eliminate non-integrated and hard-to-manage parts in your security solution. In short, buyers would prefer, when possible, to make their own choices when it comes to security solution components, yet this option is rarely available to them.
This is one of the differentiators of Bear Systems. It allows the buyer to plug and play their own components into the Bear solution so that the buyer gets an unusual level of choice and customization without reducing their ability to automate the result and get most of the benefits of a next-generation highly automated security solution.
Bear Systems was created because the founders realized that companies just couldn’t continue to use reactive systems given the speed at which attacks evolve and how much damage could be done in microseconds. Thus, the system they created is not only highly automated, it is proactive and looks for and corrects potential exposures before they can be exploited. Bear uses a machine-learning model to create automated scripts but keeps the human analyst in the loop to assure that productivity is not adversely impacted and workflow is not disturbed.
On this last, one of Bear’s most advanced aspects, on top of being proactive, is operating nearly invisibly on the hardware in which its solution resides. The solution does its work quietly and without disrupting the user, making it less likely the user will disable the product and open themselves and their employer to attack.
Bear Systems problem
Security firms have a significant problem coming to the market. People don’t like to buy systems that haven’t been stress tested in operations, but you can’t test these systems operationally unless someone implements them. This is a huge cart-before-the-horse problem given those that buy security solutions tend to be very risk-averse. They know that if there’s a breach, their decision to buy the product will come under review. If the solution is brand new and untested, that review will go very badly for them.
This means Bear Systems will not only need to subsidize its first series of deployments to get reference accounts, but it’ll likely also have to partner with a trusted vendor and work in concert with other security solutions in parallel (to protect the test site) until it can validate with third-party testimony that its solution will address today’s and tomorrow’s cyber threats.
If Bear Systems can’t get to market, as good as it appears to be on paper, it’ll likely not even be a footnote in history.
The security threats the industry faces are unprecedented. To address these threats, cutting-edge firms like BlackBerry Cylance and Deep Instinct will be joined by new companies like Bear Systems. But finding a way to market in what is a cart-and-horse segment will be problematic for these new companies. Bear Systems will need to be able to partner and demonstrate the ability to fund the initial deployments safely on the critical path to creating a new and more capable security company and offering.