The Silicon Review
Executives consider cyberattacks as one of the topmost business concerns, and it outranks other adversaries like brand damage, regulations, and economic uncertainty. In the prevailing cyber landscape, cyberattacks are considered to be inevitable, but security analysts suggest that these attacks can be largely prevented if the companies choose to implement robust security measures. By having a sophisticated security measure in place, we can reduce the chances of someone walking away with the company’s sensitive data.
Stellar Cyber has come up with cutting edge solutions to help companies prevent security breaches. The company was founded in 2015, and it is based in Santa Clara, California. The founders of Stellar Cyber knew that in security, there is a correlation problem. Organizations have dozens of siloed tools and, as a result, siloed data. It is, therefore, difficult to correlate common events or related events. The real problem lies in gathering the right data so the most critical correlations are more easily seen.
Stellar Cyber’s founders first invented a family of sensors and agents suited for a variety of customer environments. These sensors index security metadata at ingestion, ensuring from the beginning that there is a means to normalize and make correlations. Deep-packet-inspection (DPI) at ingestion ensures that only needed metadata is kept, which reduces storage costs. The solution had to be deployable anywhere, so they realized they needed a microservices-based platform that is container-ready, and they built a user-friendly GUI. With a GUI that follows the Lockheed Martin kill chain and aligns with NIST’s and MITRE’s frameworks, security analysts can intuitively work as they move from collecting the right data, detecting events, and investigating those incidents and then responding to high-risk events. The Open-XDR platform is application-based because customers now expect applications that work together in the workplace along with a GUI to help them work more efficiently—breaking through the siloed tools they worked with in the past, which have limited the ability to see small signals that were telling of a meaningful breach.
In conversation with Changming Liu, CEO and co-founder of Stellar Cyber
Q. What are the factors that help your company to compete on a global platform?
Our goal is to add more and more AI so that we can correlate data from any source and spot more sophisticated attacks faster than any other tool, to ensure that customers get maximum protection from cyberattacks wherever their data and applications reside. We continually evolve how we can see smaller events that look normal and correlate them across an entire attack surface and use existing tools to paint a larger picture of a company’s cybersecurity profile. These factors dramatically reduce capital and operational costs, making it possible to run a cost-effective security operations center.’
Q. There are other major players in this segment. What makes you a better solution provider?
We are part of an emerging new category called XDR – anywhere (X) detection (D) and response (R), which reflects the idea that an enterprise attack surface is no longer a single point. It is anywhere, from within, from outside, or from host-to-host attacks. Palo Alto Networks is building its platform, Cortex, through acquisitions (LightCyber is one example). As a startup, Stellar Cyber had the XDR vision from day one and built an Open-XDR platform as we intend to attract a thriving ecosystem. Many customers do not want a rip-and-replace story; they want to augment what they have and make it better. Industry analyst firms Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), Gartner, Forrester, and Omdia track the new XDR category.
Q. It is good for a company to let their customers know about the problems before they even notice. Do you think now it is the time to be proactive?
The biggest challenge is that customers know they have a problem, but think they can’t afford to make a change. There are too many concerns – loss of best practices, loss of visibility. Yes, it is always better to increase your proactive stance with security. To that end, Stellar Cyber helps with a key differentiation. Stellar Cyber immediately shows value by correlating data from disparate security tools under one interface. Next, it uses its own sensors and agents to collect other data from blind spots that other systems miss. This helps customers get a higher ROI from the systems they already have.
Q. Whom do you give credit for your business success? Why?
Our co-founder, Aimei Wei, is our secret weapon. She saw that her data science and data networking background was a good fit for solving the problem in cybersecurity. She recognized that most security tools are siloed, and as a result, there is too much data “noise” in too many separate interfaces for analysts to make quick decisions about spotting and addressing cyberattacks. Too much data means more work is needed to see the meaningful event signals and respond in an appropriate time to stop a breach. Aimei took a step back and re-thought how data is gathered and analyzed, and came up with an integrated solution to address this problem.
Q. What are your future plans for the development of your company?
Our goal is to add more and more AI so that we can see more and more complex attacks faster than any other tool, to ensure that customers get maximum protection from cyberattacks wherever their data and applications reside.
Meet the leaders behind the success of Stellar Cyber
The company was founded in 2015 by Changming Liu (CEO) and Aimei Wei (Sr. VP of Engineering). Changming’s security career started at NetScreen, and he is also the founder of Aerohive. Changming learned that you need great tech and a great GUI – users expect more than just tech today. That is his passion as he leads Stellar Cyber. This is his second startup as founding CEO.