Interviewed: Ethan Schmertzler, CEO, Dispel
What is your product and/or company about?
We are a digital privacy company. The technology itself allows companies to have secure and honest communications, and also effectively take their infrastructure offline, because what you can't find, you can't attack effectively.
The way we achieve that is through three fronts. The first one is that we establish a VPN connection from physical devices within your perimeter to segment them. What that helps to prevent is that if one device gets infected, that malware doesn't spread laterally throughout your network.
We route the traffic out into a temporarily created "ephemeral infrastructure." They are secure enclaves which are made in multiple different cloud providers and they're segmented into different sections, say, of your company, as the enterprise IT director sees fit. You can then deploy different kinds of infrastructure into these cloud providers for however long you want to use them.
So 15 minutes before you're supposed to transfer files, you can split a file transfer server into an enclave and send your files from one party to the other. It's an encrypted anonymous communication because nobody can predict where it was, it's a random cloud provider, and then we destroy this infrastructure.
The nice thing about that is if it's, say, a virtual desktop interface, any malware that comes in while you're browsing actually gets caught at this level and doesn't carry on to the inside of your perimeter. So it's effectively being intercepted at the border in these ephemeral networks.
It also has the added advantage that, because these are random cloud providers and things are always being turned over, it actually makes this anonymous. So someone can't predict who you are or where you are or what you're doing. So for companies that are doing high-value transactions or doing exploratory work, any kind of action where the very fact that parties are communicating with one another is important information, we solve that problem for them.
The only other really salient point is ease of use. A security system that requires any additional work or creates any additional friction for people is one of the things they won't adopt. So one of the things that was very important to us was, while the system is incredibly complicated in terms of its sophistication, we wanted to make it very seamless so it's easy to use.
What is your current status?
We've been around for about 2½ years; we launched on December 9th. There are 20 employees now and we're cash-flow positive, so we have several million dollars of recurring annual revenue. So we're in a really exciting space and we've seen really good uptick, so it's really very exciting.
What would you like to accomplish at Disrupt?
One of the things that's really important to us is both to get out and talk to people and hear what their experiences are. There are a lot of companies here, and each in its own right has a security platform of some level. So it's learning how they think about themselves, how they think about the market. It's partly learning from other people, seeing what we can bring to the market, and also to having general exposure.