'7 Minutes' with DB CyberTech SVP of Corporate Strategy and Marketing Ali Hedayati

Data-loss prevention is a key part of GDPR compliance. DB CyberTech needs partners to deliver its message.

September 7, 2018

6 Min Read

**Editor’s Note: “7 Minutes” is a feature where we ask channel executives from startups – or companies that may be new to the Channel Partners audience – a series of quick questions about their businesses and channel programs.**

By Frank J. Ohlhorst

Agility is a core competency of the channel. Many solution providers have repositioned to become MSPs, or even MSSPs, while VARs have evolved into service organizations, demonstrating the importance of embracing change and adapting to address new opportunities. Much the same is happening with the cybersecurity vendor side of the equation, where suppliers are developing new generations of products and services. If they can’t respond to fast-changing customer demands, they risk falling into obscurity.

Case in point is DB CyberTech, a company that launched in 2012 under the name “DB Networks” and with a go-to-market strategy that included addressing the then-common problem of SQL injection attacks. Fast-forward to today. The specter of SQL injection has evolved into something much more ominous: stealth attacks to steal intellectual property and sensitive data. Those types of attacks are addressed by data-loss prevention (DLP) technology. DB Networks recognized DLP as a must-have defensive layer and evolved its machine-learning-based SQL injection-detection technology into a product that the IT channel can use to prevent data loss. To reflect its new direction, the company adopted a new name, DB CyberTech.


DB Cybertech’s Ali Hedayati

The idea of DLP isn’t new. IT teams have long sought to keep sensitive data, such as customer lists or intellectual property, from being leaked, stolen or accessed by unauthorized users. But use of cloud storage and more data being carried around on personally owned mobile devices has added urgency, and DB CyberTech is looking to take on long-time DLP players like Symantec, Forcepoint, McAfee and Digital Guardian.

DB Cybertech is banking on technology the company calls “Predictive DLP” that’s based on machine learning to unseat those longtime DLP vendors. Ali Hedayati, the company’s senior vice president of corporate strategy & marketing, says traditional DLP solutions analyze “data in motion” to spot exfiltration attempts. DB CyberTech’s approach is to instead first analyze the request data to identify the indicators of compromise. This approach, says Hedavati, enables security analysts to be notified of attacks much earlier — ideally during the initial reconnaissance phases and before any data loss has occurred.

Of course, there’s a lot more to breaking into the top ranks of an established market than a rename, some new functionality and a marketing campaign. DB CyberTech has invested heavily in the channel, building partnerships that will bring its predictive DLP concept to fruition, while also providing those partners with significant recurring revenue streams.

In this Q&A, Hedayati talks about the company’s channel strategy and what DB CyberTech has to offer potential channel partners.

Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about your product or service. What’s the secret selling sauce?

Ali Hedayati: Customers tell us that DB CyberTech’s ability to discover database assets, accurately classify the sensitive information stored on those databases, and map the databases to their …

… connected applications is extremely valuable and time-saving.

We know of no other product that is able to do this, let alone do it completely non-intrusively. Further, we apply machine learning to immediately identify any threats against these structured data stores.

Our products fill a critical and highly competitive market need that traditional DLP vendors and their partners don’t really address. This includes achieving and continuously maintaining sensitive data protection and GDPR compliance. It’s a great cross-sell for our partners and offers a natural extension to the security-related products and services they already offer today.

CP: Describe your channel program — heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features?

AH: Our channel program was designed to enable partners with all the necessary tools to sell our products and fully support post sales. Additionally, the program scales quickly and easily. Our on-boarding process is frictionless, barrier-free and enables partners to quickly sign up and begin to immediately add customer value. We offer experienced field engineering and sales support from the project’s earliest exploratory phase through POC, ensuring partner success.

CP: How are you looking to engage with new partners? Are there specific incentives?

AH: We engage with partners very selectively. It’s really based on their capabilities and their positions in the market. For each of our key market segments, we invest heavily in the right partners that have service capabilities in specific compliance and security areas that best complement our products and satisfy customer needs.

CP: How can solution providers get started in this market segment?

AH: We encourage solution providers to approach us regarding participating in our partner program. We have two categories of partners. The first category is resellers, and the second is service providers who require our technology solution as part of their service offering.

Specifically, protection of personal data is now front and center with the EU GDPR and new California privacy law. There is an immediate opportunity for solution providers to help customers deploy automation and technology that support long-term compliance when it comes to the treatment of personal data. There is heavy investment in this space, and it’s quite active with projects and spending that require a specific skill set.

CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better?

AH: Our primary competitors are legacy DLP vendors such as McAfee, Digital Guardian, Symantec and Forcepoint. However, our security and GDPR compliance products are focused on structured data, and further, we provide predictive data-loss prevention to alert to threats in the earliest phases of an attack so that they can be stopped before data is lost.

In other words, we look at requests to identify potential attacks, especially those that are constructed to exfiltrate data from systems. It has become apparent to us that customers are now becoming dissatisfied with the legacy DLP approach, which mostly identifies security threats once a data breach has occurred. This is causing a huge pain point in the market and is resulting in …

… budgeting for projects to eliminate excessive dwell time. Predicting threats through machine learning well before a breach actually occurs is rapidly becoming an important customer requirement, and DB CyberTech is the leader in that space.

CP: How many partners are you working with and what are your growth predictions?

AH: We are currently working with a couple of dozen channel partners in the U.S. We are in the midst of a major channel expansion in the EU to support the new GDPR privacy regulation. GDPR continuous compliance is a major market opportunity for us, and we have a solution specific to the challenge of this new EU regulation. We sought out strong partners to tackle deployments in this space. Our projections are that we will add only a few additional channel partners in the U.S., but focus on ramping to 10 or so in Europe by the second half of 2019.

CP: What does the future hold for the DB CyberTech channel program?

AH: DB CyberTech offers a comprehensive partner program designed for channel partner success. In Europe, our plans include a physical presence with DB CyberTech sales and technical support. Our strategy will enable a low barrier to entry and scales to very large deployments.

CP: Anything additional that partners should know?

AH: We have put significant effort toward making our products very easy to demonstrate, deploy, and implement. In cybersecurity, DB CyberTech is a leader in making very complex technology consumable to even non-technical users. We also have also invested heavily in machine-learning technologies with more than 75 man years of development and three granted patents.

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