Axonius: Cybersecurity Asset Management
Dean Sysman calls in from a New York high-rise. ‘If you go to an organisation today and ask their CSO or CIO or CTO the most basic of questions—how many devices does your organisation have?—nobody knows’, he says. ‘That’s a problem’. Especially now that more companies have switched to remote and flexible work, they need to track and understand how their devices connect to their network. This is why Axonius exists.
What’s Its Mission?
In the past, computing environments were homogenous. They had one type of device, one operating system, one network, one management tool. No longer. ‘Today, you could have a dozen different types of devices linked to your network’, Sysman says. ‘The market is fragmented. There’s all these silos of data that no one brings together’.
This poses a new risk: when you have countless types of devices connecting to your network across the world, how do you stop cybercriminals from wreaking havoc?
To solve the problem, Axonius created a product that connects to all existing controls in a company’s network. Its 400+ adapters connect to security platforms, networks, cloud platforms, identity platforms, and more to pool that data together. ‘We give you a comprehensive and real-time asset inventory’, Sysman says. ‘Once we collect device data, we correlate it to give our clients a single source of truth’.
How Does Its Product Work?
‘Let’s say I’m a malicious actor, and I connect to your system’, I ask. ‘What happens next?’ Sysman nods his head. ‘We saw that with the Colonial Pipeline attacks in the US’, he notes. ‘Now, a company’s operations depend so heavily on their computing environments that they need to pay attention’.
When Axonius adapters are connected to the solutions clients are already using, they give clients visibility into each device, cloud instance, or user account. For example, once a company catches a red flag, it can take automated, custom response actions to mitigate cyberattacks before they occur. ‘Everything you do on your infrastructure’, Sysman says, ‘starts from understanding its current state at as wide and deep a level as possible. Our product is a system of record’.
Why Partner With Spectris?
Axonius helps Spectris—a UK-based manufacturer of precision instruments— manage its newly remote workforce. ‘Spectris is an organisation with a global footprint’, Sysman says. ‘Imagine how its security changed the day after enabling work from anywhere’.
To help Spectris gain more visibility into its network, Axonius offers a wealth of context for every device, whether it’s managed or unmanaged, in the cloud or on-premise. ‘For every connection, you need to understand its context’, Sysman tells me. ‘Is it supposed to be there? Does it have permission to connect to that resource? Are its users permitted to access the network?’
In addition, the Axonius platform helps Spectris automate how it reacts to risk. ‘If you need to tag something, you can tag it’, Sysman says. ‘If you want to install an agent, you can install it. If you want to isolate a device from the network, you can isolate it’.’ This layer of security extends to IT, operations, infrastructure, and engineering—essentially mitigating the danger of digital attacks.
Since Sysman and his co-founders started Axonius four years ago, it’s grown to over 200 employees, raised US$195mn in funding, and expanded its operations in the US, Africa and the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific. ‘We’ve grown spectacularly fast’, he says. ‘But we still believe in our mission: that organisations must understand their digital environment’.
As 2022 unfolds, Axonius intends to bring companies even greater clarity and control over their networks. But it’s just the seed of something greater. ‘Cybersecurity asset management is not a solution’, Sysman says. ‘It’s your starting point’.