This year’s t3 Enterprise conference in Las Vegas kicked off on Monday with the introduction of a novel approach to securing the information that is the lifeblood of financial services and SaaS companies.
The launch of cleverDome, which would eliminate the need for virtual private networks (VPN), seeks to move financial data off the open internet and “under the dome,” is the result of a partnership built upon trust, with the lofty goal of delivering this trusted environment to better the common good of the financial services industry.
The latter is achieved through the use of a little-used type of corporation, known as an Arizona Benefit Corporation (B Corp). Falling somewhere between a non-profit and a traditional S or C Corp, a B Corp acts as a co-op, with members who commit to a global standard of trust, according to cleverDome founder Aaron Spradlin. At launch, partners include a broad range of industry heavyweights including financial advisers, custodians, broker-dealers, and SaaS organizations.
To execute on their stated mission of protecting confidential customer information through safe, reliable and fast internet connections, cleverDome’s solution is powered by NetFoundry, a company incubated by Tata Communications, a company also committed to allocating a large portion of its profits to causes for the public good.
The joint solution uses military-grade security techniques that evolved from the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) including micro-segmentation and crypto-identification to create a software defined perimeter (SDP), which first ensures that a device wishing to communicate first “know” each other even before a network connection is established, rendering data, devices and applications virtually invisible to any unauthorized attempt to access data. NetFoundry’s corporate parent Tata currently claims to move 25% of all internet data, according to co-founder Michael Hallett.
The cleverDome would replace VPNs, which suffer from several drawbacks, perhaps the biggest being a performance penalty for their use. “Security usually means slow, but not anymore”, said cleverDome’s Spradlin. Last year, tech industry research giant Gartner predicted that 60% of enterprises will replace their VPNs with SDP by 2021.
However, securing the network is only part of the puzzle. Endpoint security is achieved by a partnership with Entreda, Inc., who provide trusted endpoint devices and provide 24/7 monitoring for devices and user behavior. This enables automatic remediation and reporting in the event someone attempts to use data in an unauthorized way, further securing customer information against theft or misuse.
“Security is an end-to-end problem”, said Entreda CEO Sid Yenamandra. “The end user, device, network and applications all must be secured.” Entreda’s software will assess the device and user behavior before it lets that device “under the dome” and into the secure network.
Launch partners include United Planners Financial Services, a brokerage, insurance and investment advisor, financial CRM leader Redtail Technology, Orion Advisor Services, a portfolio accounting service provider, and Riskalyze, inventor of the Risk Number.
Although the cleverDome is not yet available to end-user clients, that capability is planned for a roll-out in 2019.