Meet Tilo Weigandt, whose mission is to combat hacks & leaks, but this time for real! As co-founder of Vaultree, an innovative Encryption-as-a-Service startup, his goal is to fundamentally change the way we work with data: Fully encrypted.
After having gained lots of experience in various industries including FMCG, Automotive, Services, and Fintech, having worked in Business Development, Product Management, Consulting, Strategic Marketing, and CRM, he decided that founding a startup with a good cause is what he wanted to do.
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Table of Contents
Tell me about your former career roles and current role.
Tilo Weigandt: I’ve worked as a business developer, program manager, consultant, and strategic marketing manager developing highly scalable tech products, business segments and brands in various industries including consumer, automotive services, and fintech, before I decided that my desire to do something good is best put into practice by founding Vaultree,where we are working on solving one of today’s most pressing issues: data security.
Describe the current challenge landscape: what are the problems with current encryption methods?
Tilo Weigandt: Traditional encryption approaches, such as deterministic encryption or secure enclaves, require decrypting the data in the cloud or at the database level to allow read and write access, creating gaps in security for malicious insiders and hackers to access sensitive information. Most importantly, these legacy encryption schemes are buckling under the strain of scale. At the same time, novel and not yet mature encryption methodologies slow down network performance, can’t scale and are cumbersome to deploy and manage.
Another major problem with current encryption schemes is that while encryption is designed to keep unauthorized entities from being able to access or understand the data, it can also sometimes prevent the owner of that data from being able to use it, too. Key management is a continued challenge – the keys need to be living somewhere in the environment, and bad actors too often know where to look. There’s also concern about having to hand those keys over to a third party, as required with some solutions.
What factors complicate current efforts to fix the problem?
Tilo Weigandt: There are many factors that contribute to the complications of effort to fix the problem. Lack of knowledge around encryption is a big complicating factor. Business leaders should take the time to research and talk to various companies to start breaking down the complexity; education and communication are key to the process. Tech and security teams should be familiar with the very basics of encryption to be able to make a sound decision, but they don’t have to become an expert. The vendor should be able to help companies in the decision-making process and help to lay out the foundation for being prepared against future attacks or human errors.
Another contributing factor is the murky regulation – if it exists at all. In the EU, there’s GDPR, which recommends that companies use encryption but fails to provide actionable guidance on how to actually implement it. And as is the nature of such laws, regulation lags behind the technology advancements. They also tend to be written for data protection professionals and lawyers rather than the business owners who actually have to abide by these regulations.
Meanwhile, cyber criminals are growing increasingly sophisticated as they continue to evolve their methods, making it more difficult to stay on top of data breaches and hacks. There’s also the continuing cybersecurity skills shortage – according to (ISC)2’s 2021 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, there’s a shortage of 2.72 million skilled security professionals.
How are data breaches affecting business currently?
Tilo Weigandt: As data breaches continue to proliferate, they’re also becoming increasingly expensive. According to the 2021 IBM Cost of a Data Breach report, data breach costs rose this year from an average of $3.86 million per breach to $4.24 million- the average highest total cost in the 17-year history of the report. Remote work and the ensuing rise in cloud adoption have expanded the threat landscape. And bad actors are taking notice – 39% of all breaches are in the cloud and in web-based applications.
At the same time, cloud adoption rates are accelerating, with Gartner anticipating that worldwide cloud end user spending will have reached $332.3 billion by the end of 2021, up 23% from the prior year. The big takeaway here for business and technology leaders is that data protection is more important than ever – but the old ways of doing things aren’t going to suffice. Encryption, that critical component of data security, must evolve.
What do company and tech leaders need to understand about next-gen encryption?
Tilo Weigandt: Cryptography isn’t a panacea. There’s a lot more that goes into your cybersecurity posture, including cyber awareness training and access management. But encryption is an essential part. It can be a business enabler, not just a necessary evil. But if it’s not built in from Day One, it will be more costly (both financially and timewise) and can have significant consequences in terms of loss of revenue, reputational damage and more.
How will adopting next gen encryption lead to measurable business benefits?
Tilo Weigandt: Businesses need an approach that enables them to move their data freely without having to hand over encryption keys to the data host or solution provider, sacrifice performance or decrypt data. This is where next-generation encryption comes in. Next-gen encryption flips the old models on their head; it’s designed for the way people work today and puts the user in full control.
With cryptography, businesses can expect that their brand image will improve, as customers will have more confidence in their abilities – allowing them to focus more on daily operations rather than having to focus on hacks and leaks.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Tilo Weigandt for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Tilo Weigandt or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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