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50 Most Admired Companies of the Year 2016

A Single Platform to Unify Cybersecurity Management: DefenseStorm

“We have a coordinated threat defense system from the ground to the cloud.”

 Edgardo Nazario (founder and Chief Product Officer) and Jeff Lunsford (Chairman) were contemplating their next venture and came up with the idea to build a new kind of cybersecurity solution that would solve emerging challenges for IT security teams.

The duo researched this idea to gauge market demand and efficacy of the solution, and were surprised by the size of the solution gap they saw across all industries; the cybersecurity industry is crowded, but there wasn’t a cloud-based cybersecurity management solution that included network monitoring, incident response workflow, policy governance, and real-time analytics into a single solution. They chose to focus on the banking vertical, because while banks have similar needs to other corporations, they have unique security needs that present a compelling requisite for a solution that keeps the country’s most sensitive financial data secure from foreign attackers and organized criminals.

Community banks have a long tradition of being visible in the community and enjoying personal relationships with their customers. Community bankers know the names and faces of their customers, because they see them every day.

As such, bankers have extra incentive to protect their business, because they know that if a breach occurs, their customers will bring it up when they run into each other at the grocery store or around town.

Armed with their research, Nazario and Lunsford, reached out to a couple of banks to test their idea. They were excited by the reaction they received. They spoke to Thomas Hill, CISO of Live Oak Bank, to vet the technical details and Jim Brockett, CIO, of WA Trust Bank, to vet DefenseStorm’s approach to policy and compliance reporting. Both banks were extremely interested in the solution, so they signed 3-year contracts to join DefenseStorm’s Founder Bank Program, which provides special access to the DefenseStorm product team and the opportunity to give feedback on new solution features.

From there, DefenseStorm’s story moves rapidly. In early summer of 2014, Nazario hired the engineering team to build out the solution, which consists of 4 components (Events, Alerts, Incidents and Policy), and is supported by Guardian, a team of security experts. This past July, DefenseStorm welcomed new CEO, Sean Feeney.

Cybersecurity Data Platform
DefenseStorm is a Security Data Platform that watches everything on a client’s network and matches it to their policies, providing cybersecurity management that is safe, compliant and cost effective. Built from the ground up in the cloud, DefenseStorm unifies detection, investigation, reporting, and compliance into a single place to manage cybersecurity data. Formed by bankers and technology experts, DefenseStorm aggregates event data across all cybersecurity tools and links policies to real-time alerts, so that businesses can prove to regulators they are both secure and compliant with evolving cybersecurity requirements.

The Future Sight
The company’s core focus will continue to be community banks and credit unions, but has DefenseStorm discovered that businesses across all industries are interested in having the same types of security that banks are required to have, so it has expanded its focus beyond banking. The company is particularly interested in targeting cloud-first businesses, as it develops additional features for it’s new cloud security monitoring solution. Now businesses can leverage DefenseStorm to provide a single pane of glass to manage their entire cybersecurity program – on the ground and in the cloud.

The Client Dimension
DefenseStorm’s primary focus is community banks and credit unions, but its security data platform can be leveraged by any organization. The big clients include: WA Trust Bank, Live Oak Bank, Prime Revenue, Tealium, nCino, Spartan Shops, American National Bank, Lusitania Savings Bank and Bank of Tennessee.

“We really couldn’t find another solution in the market that did what DefenseStorm did, in terms of bringing together IT governance and incident management workflow into a single system.”-Jim Brockett, CIO, Washington Trust Bank

 “The financial industry is a highly regulated environment. Everyone is very concerned about protecting their data, so it’s very important for us to keep our security posture

“That’s the reason we picked DefenseStorm – they provided a very specific service we were looking for.”-Izak Cronier, CIO, NCINO

Meet the Executive Duo

Sean Feeney, CEO: Sean is a 30-year technology leadership veteran and has overall responsibility for realizing DefenseStorm’s vision and implementing its growth strategies. Most recently, he held the role of Chief Executive Officer at GT Nexus (GTN) from 2012 – 2016, overseeing its sale to Infor in September, 2015. Prior to GTN, he was an Operating Executive with Golden Gate Capital and Chief Executive Officer of Inovis, from 2005 until the 2010 sale to GXS (acquired by OpenText), a transaction that created the largest B2B integration services provider.

He also worked as Executive Vice President at CheckFree (acquired by Fiserv), Chief Operating Officer at Clarus Corporation, and Executive Vice President at Dun & Bradstreet Software. He currently sits on the board of  TrendKite and is a former board member and past Chairman of the Technology Alliance of Georgia (TAG). Sean earned a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

 Edgardo Nazario, Chief Product Officer and Co-founder: Nazario is an 18-year technology industry veteran, executive and product innovator. He previously co-founded Delve Networks, a cloud-based online video platform that was purchased by Limelight Networks. While at Limelight, he served as General Manager of the company’s Video Platform business unit, and later as Senior Vice President of Product. Edgardo was also Group Program Manager for Isilon System, a company later purchased by EMC. In the past Edgardo has held Product Manager positions at Aventail Corporation, a pioneer in the SSL VPN market, and RealNetworks, an early Internet media company. He holds a degree in Biology from Yale University.

 “DefenseStorm believes in the power of cloud, not just for our customers, but for ourselves.”