AWS re:Invent 2023: Ransomware Defense | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Speaker 1: This is Tech Strong TV.

Shira Rubinoff: And we are back live-streaming here at Amazon Reinvent 2023. I’m Shira Rubinoff, Chief Cyber Security Officer for Tech Strong. And I’m here with Naj, Hussain, CEO of Elastio. Naj, such a pleasure to be with you here today.

Naj Husain: Shira. Thank you so much. Happy to be here.

Shira Rubinoff: Thank you, Naj. So Naj, I’d love you to explain to the audience who is Elastio and what is your story.

Naj Husain: Yeah, thank you so much.

Shira Rubinoff: Sure.

Naj Husain: So Elastio, what we do is we help companies protect themselves against ransomware. As you know, it’s a huge pain point.

Shira Rubinoff: Hot topic and the topic. Of course, yes.

Naj Husain: Its crazy. More than 50% of companies could have get hit last year, hundreds of millions of attacks every year. So how do you protect yourself? So what we do is something very different. We actually dig inside the data and make sure that that data’s clean and always recoverable because at the end of the day, the business needs it. When they get attacked, it’s not a matter of if; they need to be able to recover their applications. And that’s what we focus on.

Shira Rubinoff: That’s so important. People don’t really talk about the recoverable data, and is it a clean set of data to recover with? It’s more of “What do we have now”, make sure, and they’re not focusing on the data that’s recoverable. And I think that’s a very important niche in the industry. So how do you set yourself apart from your competitors within industry and what is your edge?

Naj Husain: Yeah, so very good.

So number one is we focus on the recoverability of the data. That’s really important, to know that at any given point that you can get your applications back safely. So to do that however, it’s very difficult. So what we did is we reverse engineered all the known ransomware. We spent the last three years doing that, so over 2000 of them. But we find between two and twenty-five new ones a week. I mean it’s pervasive. Some are novel, some are well known. And we have a technology now that since we reverse engineered them, we can precisely detect it inside the data. So it’s very powerful. So as you scan your data as either directly from an application snapshot or if through a backup, we can tell if that’s infected and produce that report back to the customer and say, yes, this is recoverable or not. So you know a priori if you can recover when you’re attacked.

Shira Rubinoff: Well that certainly falls into the bucket of being proactive in your cybersecurity stance. There’s the reactive piece, which you certainly are focusing on, but you’re being proactive and ensuring that it’s the correct set and sitting there. And I know that you’ve made some really wonderful announcements here at AWS, some very exciting ones. Please share with our audience these wonderful announcements you’ve made as a company.

Naj Husain: Yeah, thank you. So we do a lot of partnerships with Amazon. We’re very tightly coupled there. So we’re actually integrated in obviously with their snapshots, their snapshotting engines. We’ve also integrated with AWS Backup, so customers using AWS Backup can leverage Elastio to make sure that those snapshots are recoverable. We’ve just announced today S-III support, which is a big, big area of concern for customers. There’s a lot of payloads that get dropped in S-III, and they need to be scanned and protected. We also have EFS support, which there’s file systems in Amazon, so we have support for that as well. So those two things were announced today, so we’re excited about that.

Shira Rubinoff: Well, how do you find the conference going for you?

Naj Husain: Amazing. I mean, it’s a huge conference. I mean, it dwarfs any conference I’ve been to in terms of headcount. It’s seventy-five thousand people or something. But the expo’s been fabulous. The sessions are amazing. We’re meeting a lot of customers here, which is exciting.

Shira Rubinoff: Well, who would be an ideal customer for a Elastio?

Naj Husain: Yeah, so we kind have two profiles. So the mid-market’s a good place for us. So SaaS companies are a good target for us. Financial institutions are a great target for us. Insurance companies are a great target for us, either in the mid-market or enterprise. So we’re seeing customers in both sides of that area, in both those areas because such a big problem with ransomware today.

Shira Rubinoff: Certainly. And I think a lot of these companies think, “Well, it’s just such a big thing to bite off.” What would you tell them if they said, “You know what, we’re interested in learning a little bit more, but you know what, we don’t have a massive budget or we don’t just have so much time.” What is it that you can lead them along? What road can you lead them on here?

Naj Husain: So with the last deal we offer of some tools for the customer, so part of what we offer is to be able to do a scan. So you can just for free, take it, deploy it, scan your data to see how vulnerable you are.

Shira Rubinoff: Look at the risk.

Naj Husain: Exactly. You can see what the risk is.

Shira Rubinoff: And that’s something that people really don’t realize, what their risk is.

Naj Husain: Correct. And that’s a big problem. So we can kind of assess that risk for you up front, tell you how vulnerable you are in terms of do you have infections or not. And also misconfigurations in storage. And when we go and deploy in customers, 100% of the time we find storage misconfigurations.

Shira Rubinoff: How does that happen?

Naj Husain: So the clouds are so ephemeral, they’re so dynamic. People create, they make users are developers create a volume, they don’t encrypt it or they have a snapshot that’s open to the public. These are just simple things.

Shira Rubinoff: You’re saying human error here?

Naj Husain: Yeah. But these are just simple things that happen because of the sheer volume information that’s going on and the dynamism of the cloud. So we protect those in real time. So you can see that. Plus we actually scan the data to make sure that the data that you have is not compromised.

Shira Rubinoff: And that’s all in real time?

Naj Husain: That we can do all that, right. So we do that against the live workloads if you’d like. We can do it against the backups if you’d like to make sure they’re recoverable. So any part of that infrastructure, you can decide for your mission-critical apps, you may want to scan them closer to where production lives, where the production date is.

Shira Rubinoff: Yeah, that makes sense. Sure.

Naj Husain: And then for the recovery side, you may want to scan the backups to make sure they’re recoverable. So both of those are covered with Elastio.

Shira Rubinoff: Well, that sounds like a very much need to have type of technology. I know we’ve spoken before about a nice to have, which is pretty much everything out there. A need to have is when the dollars become available. And the must have is “Listen, the pain point’s today, what are these pain points?” And ransomware attacks are the number one pain point that organizations are facing today. But it’s also, what do you do to be proactive in that? You have to have the proper backups. How do you know that they’re going to be proper? How do you know that they’re going to be completely clean in a way that should be deployed to businesses today? So I think this is something people should definitely look at. I know we also discussed that there are some other things coming up the gamut that you’d like to share with our audience today.

Naj Husain: Yeah, so we’re excited. Our customers are asking for a lot of capabilities across platform now. So we’re moving into Azure as we speak. Also coming back on-prem with VMware. It’s very exciting for us. So we have those two areas coming into play. On AWS, we’re fully robust now. We cover anywhere that you can place files where customers can store files you want to have protected. So that’s covered now in AWS. So we got the file services covered with EFS and FSX. We’ve got the object storage covered with S-III. And then we also have the block storage obviously, so Amazon’s complete. So now we want to take that to more the clouds.

Shira Rubinoff: Wow. Very exciting movement within the company. And congratulations on all your success so far.

Naj Husain: Thank you.

Shira Rubinoff: Certainly want to hear more and going to be listening and watching to see what’s coming next out of Elastio.

Naj Husain: Thank you so much.

Shira Rubinoff: Thank you so much, Naj. It’s a pleasure speaking to you, and I look forward to speak to you again soon.

Naj Husain: Thank you.

Shira Rubinoff: Thank you from Tech Strong and we will be back shortly. Thank you.

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