Bret Settle of ThreatX

An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Bret Settle, the co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of ThreatX, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of ThreatX – what problem were you trying to solve and why?

The BMC story started with the board of directors raising questions regarding recent breaches at Target and Home Depot.

As CISO, I led the assessment of current capabilities and provided recommendations for a best-of-breed deployment that included several leading technologies for end point, application, network, log correlation, and event management.

After implementation, it became clear that the application security component was going to be difficult.

In addition, the board of directors wanted quarterly updates with detailed insights & discussions around questions like:

  • How do you know it’s working?
  • What are the trends being observed now that new protection is in place?
  • How sophisticated are the attacks?
  • How do we compare with our peers in terms of spend and relative risk?

The existing solutions were little help in answering these questions and required significant security analyst research time prior to each board of directors meeting.

In addition, false positives and constant tuning were increasing the operational burden on already scarce resources.

What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?

Application security presents some unique challenges for security teams:

  • The rate and pace of change presents a very dynamic environment to protect.
  • The attack surface area is very broad and includes multiple different technology stacks deployed in both on premise and cloud environments.
  • Developers can easily introduce new vulnerabilities due to customizations, plug-ins, etc.

This makes it very difficult for small security teams to have both the application and security expertise needed across the board, not to mention that many enterprise security resources come from the networking and infrastructure world and have limited experience building and supporting applications.

What does the future hold for ThreatX?

The underlying architecture extracts an incredible amount of information about the attacker, techniques used, and targeted vulnerabilities.

It’s why the ThreatX solution is so effective for web application firewalls (WAF), application programming interface (API) protection, bot protection, and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack mitigation.

ThreatX provides a wealth of information on the key areas that are driving risk for our customers.

As we continue to evolve our detection and protection techniques, we will also be focusing on extracting key insights, trends, and peer comparisons that enable our customers to make better decisions about the technologies they use and help them manage them.

What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Adapt and advance. There will always be significant challenges along the way, but successful companies have cultures that encourage meeting challenges head on and working as a team to be successful.


For more exclusive interviews, see our full Profile of a Founder series

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